Reflections on Tragedy and Risk
Recent tragic events that have occurred within the Volvo Ocean Race Fleet have had us at a loss for words. Literally, how can you describe this.
At once, it comes starkly clear: A death after a collision; a man overboard situation with a teammate lost; and a dismasting should not be astonishing. On the contrary, all three events are abrupt reminders that people who race sailboats at the extremes of what is physically and technologically possible are knowingly risking their lives.
At Harken, we build products that anticipate the world’s worst conditions. What we don’t do is assume that makes the boats completely safe—because they can’t be.
So we’re left feeling like everyone else in the community of sailors feels at a time like this. We consider the families facing devastating loss. We pray for the sailors until they get their damaged boats to safe harbor. And we stand more than ever in awe of those who will line up to do it all again on the next leg or in the next record attempt.
Please, hug them long when they leave and harder than ever when they return. Let us not ever take for granted that in doing what they do, those sailors pull us all forward.
Harken in the Volvo Ocean Race: Official Supplier of winches, blocks, traveler, mast car systems and deck hardware.
In this grueling 45,000 nautical-mile circumnavigation, the sailors need all the help they can get. That’s where we come in. Harken equipment is designed to perform under the most extreme conditions for days on end, giving the sailors peace of mind so they can focus on the task at hand. From quick-decision sail changes to hours of trimming, our gear is ready when the moment demands.
Behind the equipment is the vigilant inspection and service performed by the Harken Tech team. This globe-trotting pit crew is made up of a multinational group of experienced technical experts that meet the teams at designated stops. Here, mechanical parts are checked and serviced, and winches stripped and rebuilt down to the last bearing.
This year we will tell our story like it has never been told before. The good days and the bad will be covered through videos, photos, and blogs, reflecting our passion for not only the Volvo Ocean Race, but for everything that we do.
You can also be part of the story! Send in your questions and the Tech Team will answer, sharing the experiences and moments as they unfold.
“When their race ends,
Mark Gardner | Volvo Ocean Race Project Manager
The Harken story.
The real fuel behind a company's success is its people.
Peter and Olaf Harken recognized this basic business principle almost 50 years ago when starting Harken/Vanguard in the snow and corn country of southeastern Wisconsin. Since those early days, Harken has grown from a backyard dream of two brothers to a global reality with offices and distributors around the world. Harken gear dominates events like the America's Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race, and the Olympics with blocks, travelers, winches, and hydraulics aboard everything from the smallest dinghies to the largest megayachts.
The Harken story has been full of twists, turns, successes, and reinventions, but through it all the goal of challenging the status quo and commitment to excellence has always remained the same. Find out more.