Seb Josse and team return to Portsmouth after the most traumatic week of their lives 22/5/06

The damp and miserable weather reflected the somber mood among the families, friends and well-wishers who’d turned out to welcome the crew from ABN AMRO Two return to port this evening after what was undoubtedly the most traumatic week of their lives.

Seb Josse and his crew who lost crewmate Hans Horrevoets in a tragic accident in the early hours of last Thursday morning crossed the finish line at Gilkicker Point at 1908GMT tonight were treated to a hero’s welcome as they quietly glided into port at Gunwharf Quays.

After a quiet and emotional reunion, the crew left the yacht and instead of the usual presentation ceremony on the waterfront at Gunwharf Quays were taken by coach to their hotel for a time of quietness as they begin to come to terms with the events of the past week.

Coping with not only losing their dear friend after hours trying to resuscitate him they then had to continue towards shore with his body aboard and deal with the worst conditions of the entire race with winds reaching over 50kts creating huge, difficult seas. Then just when they thought things couldn’t get much worse, the team had to turn round and go to the rescue of fellow competitors aboard movistar and take them on board too.

Following this textbook operation they were escorted by HMS Mersey, brought their packed boat to the shelter of Falmouth where Hans’ body was transferred to a Royal Netherlands Navy Frigate for its journey home, and transferred movistar’s crew into Ribs so that they could be taken ashore.

Then after all that, they continued to race to complete Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race. We take our hats off to them!