A crew led by Team Russia skipper Andreas Hanakamp left the marina at Singapore today on their way to Cape Town, after an emotional dockside farewell.
Ten days after they arrived at the One ° 15 Marina on Sentosa Island to reveal that the campaign was in trouble due to the world financial crisis, the Humphreys-designed Kosatka slipped anchor and motored out to Singapore and beyond through the Straits of Malacca, en route to Africa.
The crew, comprising Hanakamp and seven fellow Austrians all wearing Team Russia shirts, were given a damp send off when the heavens opened just as they were leaving, their exit thereafter accompanied by torrential rain.
"We will try and secure more funding but in the current economic climate, it is difficult to get anyone to make quick decisions," said Hanakamp.
"It is personally very disappointing because I was looking forward to the long leg to Rio, but it is a professional game and I was just doing a job so we have to get on with life."
Over the next few days, it will become clear whether any Team Russia crew member has found a job on any other boat but if not, all will be hoping to resume racing later in the year.
"We are hoping that we can secure more funding and can be back in the race in Rio or Boston. There is a lot of activity on a round the clock basis finding sponsorship and hopefully we have found companies that might say yes, but are not saying it quickly."