• Esprit de corps IV Holed And Sunk Near Halifax

    Emma Davie Reports for CBC.CA

    Vessel ran aground on island after sail became caught in propeller.

    A group of three university students training on a Canadian Coast Guard zodiac rescued eight people from a sailboat that ran aground on an island near Lunenburg, N.S., early Wednesday morning.

    Marc Ouellette, a regional supervisor with the Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, said the initial report came in at 3:20 a.m.

    The 19˝-metre sailboat drifted into Cross Island, near the entrance to Lunenburg harbour, after a sail went overboard and was caught in boat's propeller.

    Ouellette said a Mahone Bay Inshore Rescue zodiac, which is used in a summer program to train university students to crew fast-rescue boats, was dispatched. Three students on board were able to rescue the eight crew members.

    "They start May long weekend, so they've only been operational for less than a week now," Oullette said of the students.

    Ouellette said the boat is part of the coast guard's inshore rescue program. There are three students on each vessel, including a team lead who is often a returning student.

    A tugboat called the Salvage Monarch was also on scene and the people rescued from the sailboat were transferred from the zodiac.

    Ouellette said the sailing vessel was coming back to Canada from Bermuda.

    Bill Flower, who took photos of the boat after it ran ashore, identified it as the Esprit de corps IV.

    "There was a significant hole on the starboard side of the vessel," Ouellette said. "So they abandoned and there was no attempt to refloat the vessel."

    The boat is still stranded on the island.

    Ouellette said the recovery of the vessel is the responsibility of the owner, but the coast guard will monitor it from an environmental perspective.

    For the first edition of the round-the-world race under the Volvo brand, there was a real combination of European talents surrounding Amer Sports One Team.

    The design of the yacht was attributed to German “Mani” Frers, and the construction began in La Ciotat, France, with the builder Composite Works. Adding two famous names of yacht building was to be a winning bet, based on differentiation, for the Italian-Finish consortium Amer Sports. Indeed, during this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, 6 of the 8 yachts were signed by Farr Yacht Design.

    Grant Dalton, a skipper from New-Zealand with already 4 participations in the Whitbread, was to lead the team. In his project around the world, he had the support of Paul Cayard, skipper and winner of the previous edition of race onboard EF Language.

    Amer Sports One finished at the third place of the race, right behing Illbruck Challenge and Assa Abloy.

    Half a decade later, the yacht is bought by Canadian skipper Derek Hatfield, who gives her a new name : Spirit of Adventure. At that time, and after 2 Velux Around the World Race with his IMOCA 60 Spirit of Canada, Hatfield was seeking to develop a race chartering company.

    With this new yacht, Hatlfield participated in many races in Europe to North America with amateurs wanting to live the sensations of ocean racing.

    In 2010, Hatfield even sets a new record for the Halifax to Saint Pierre Ocean Race, in 29h, 43min, and 56sec.
    In 2016, the yacht is acquired by Gilles Barbot, and renamed Esprit de Corps IV. She was to be skippered by Derek Hatfield who joined the ambitions of Atlas Ocean Racing, but sadly, Hatfield passed away in July 2016.

    Derek’s career remains a true source of inspiration for our team, and it’s with that spirit of boldness and sharing that we continue to sail on this true flagship of our fleet. Since 2017, our crew members join during winter time to take part in international races on this yacht.


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