Scallywag will “never give up”

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Skipper posts emotional ode to lost sailor John Fisher, confirming Scallywag will continue in Volvo Ocean Race.

The skipper of the Volvo Ocean Race yacht that lost a crew member overboard has posted an emotional message confirming they will continue in the round the world epic.

British sailor John Fisher, 47, was lost at sea last week in a storm in the Southern Ocean on the treacherous leg from Auckland to Itaji in Brazil.

Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag has made land in Chile, retiring from the current leg.

But skipper David Witt said they would continue in the race and were now hoping their delivery crew could get the boat to Brazil in time for the start of leg eight to Newport on the east coast of the United States.

Australian Witt, a close friend of Fisher, said the team had decided they will “never give up” and were now determined to race in Fisher’s memory.

He put an emotional post on the team’s Facebook page, including the ode:

When you’re feeling the pain,
And you’re sick of the game,
But you’re young and you’re brave and you’re bright,
You pick yourself up and dust yourself down,
Cos it’s the carrying on that’s hard.

Scallywags will continue!!

Witt said of his crew: “We are all hurt but we are not out”.

He continued: “We will make the start, we will look after each other, we will finish the race and do the best job we can for all Scallywags in John’s memory and honour.

“On behalf of all the team I would like to thank all our supporters for all the messages of support it has helped us enormously in this difficult time.”

News agency AFP reported on Tuesday that police interviewed the crew once the yacht made landfall in Puerto Montt in southern Chile.

Peter Burling’s Team Brunel won the leg that carried double points and are now right back in the mix on the overall scoreboard.

The Southern Ocean has taken a heavy toll on the seven-boat fleet with Vestas 11th Hour Racing joining Scallywag in retiring from the current leg after demasting.

Overall race leader Mapfre, with Blair Tuke on board, were limping towards the finish line in Brazil after having mast and sail issues.