Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Updates On Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag & Volvo Ocean Race Fleet

27th March 2018
John Fisher pictured on board Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag during the first leg of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race on 27 October John Fisher pictured on board Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag during the first leg of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race on 27 October Credit: Jeremie Lecaudey/Volvo Ocean Race

#VOR - Six crews in the Volvo Ocean Race fleet are facing challenging conditions as they race towards Cape Horn, still 900 miles and two days away.

The seventh team, Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, is working to recover from the tragic loss of crew member John Fisher, who went overboard over 24 hours ago and is now presumed lost at sea, given the cold temperatures and rough sea conditions.

“We are devastated and our thoughts are with John’s family, friends and teammates,” said Volvo Ocean Race President Richard Brisius in a statement this morning, Tuesday 27 March. “This is heart-breaking for all of us. As sailors and race organisers losing a crew member at sea is a tragedy we don’t ever want to contemplate.”

Race director Phil Lawrence provided updates on Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag and the rest of the fleet this afternoon.

“As you can imagine, the Scallywag crew is very shocked, they are very distressed, and our focus at the moment is getting the boat safely to Chile,” Lawrence said. “They are in bad weather conditions and we are sorting out a routing for them that will keep them safe and get them to port.

“The other teams are also in very difficult conditions, with gale force winds, and approaching Cape Horn. So they have a lot on. Yesterday we sent them a short notice about what had happened and this morning we sent them a note that sadly John had not been found.”

Race veteran Bouwe Bekking, skipper of Team Brunel that is currently leading the fleet towards Cape Horn, expressed his feelings which are representative of the sentiment across all of the sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race.

“We are deeply shocked by the loss of John Fisher, known to us sailors as ‘Fish’. Our thoughts are with his family and of course the Scallywag crew. There hasn’t been a moment since we heard that I didn't wake up thinking about him…”

The six boats still racing in Leg 7 are now 900 miles from Cape Horn, with an ETA to round into the South Atlantic on Thursday UTC. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag is forecast to make landfall in around four days time.

Published in Ocean Race
MacDara Conroy

About The Author

MacDara Conroy

Email The Author

MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button