An emotional VOR Leg 7 prizegiving ceremony took place at Goodwood last night 31/5/06

Goodwood House played host to an emotional prizegiving ceremony for Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race yesterday evening.

Local dignitaries including the Queen’s Harbour Master, Commander Kendall Carter, and Gerald Vernon, Head of Portsmouth City Council, attended the party, along with crews, teams, and sponsors. Stars from the UK sailing scene, including a heavily pregnant Shirley Robertson, also attended the party.

Guests were shown video footage from the dramatic last leg during the prizegiving. The team on Movistar won the media award for their presence of mind in recording incredible footage of their final moments onboard. They filmed the increasingly desperate situation, even when abandoning ship and trying to get onboard ABN AMRO Two from liferafts. When presented with the award, Bouwe Bekking gave the £1,000 cheque straight to Sebastian Josse, skipper of ABN Two, for the Hans Horrevoets Memorial fund.

Bouwe also presented ABN Two with the Musto Seamanship Award for saving the lives of his crew when they had to abandon Movistar, who was sinking fast. Every single guest got out of their chairs to give ABN Two a standing ovation, a mark of respect for what ‘the men’ onboard endured and achieved during Leg 7.

The mood brightened somewhat as podium prizes for the leg were awarded. Pirates of the Caribbean took the trophy for 3rd place, Ericsson for 2nd and ABN AMRO One were again triumphant in 1st. Skipper Mike Sanderson (Moose) said of the trip: “It has been a rollercoaster for us, starting with the death of Hans, which affected us all so much.”