The 2005–06 race was the first to start outside the UK, with an opening leg from Vigo in Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. A new class of boat, the Volvo Open 70 was introduced – a more radical yacht with a canting keel, which would cause some boats serious problems on the 31,000 nautical mile route around the world.⛵️🌎
This race is will also be remembered for the tragic loss of Hans Horrevoets aboard ABN AMRO TWO during Leg 7 from New York to Portsmouth. The young crew of the Dutch sponsored boat were then called upon to rescue their competitors aboard the stricken Movistar during the same leg.
Movistar had suffered a catastrophic keel pivot failure, and skipper Bouwe Bekking made the difficult decision to abandon ship. All ten crew members then transferred by liferaft to the attending ABN AMRO TWO, still with the recovered body of Horrevoets stowed aboard.
The race was won by ABN AMRO ONE, the sister boat of ABN AMRO TWO, skippered by New Zealander Mike Sanderson. For Sanderson, the win was the crowning achievement of his career, leading to one of the race’s most iconic quotes, “This is my Olympic gold, my Mount Everest, this is my childhood dream, to get to skipper a boat and win the Volvo Ocean Race.”