Extreme E ship almost caught in Suez Canal jam

All-electric series freight carrier St. Helena just made it through before Ever Given grounded in Egypt


This week’s Extreme E opener came within days of being threatened by the Suez Canal traffic jam which developed after the 400-meter Ever Given cargo ship grounded in Egypt.

The series’ St Helena ship made it through the canal a week ahead of the blockage, but further kit which left the UK later was reported to have got through just a day before the Ever Given ran aground.

A source close to the series said: “It could have been a bit of a problem… Apparently, this sort of thing does happen in the Suez Canal, but not normally in quite such a dramatic way.”

There’s still a chance the series’ onward logistics could be impacted as 400 ships are now in a queue to get through the canal. It’s expected to take at least a fortnight to clear that backlog. If it takes much longer, the St Helena’s sailing north towards Senegal, off the west coast of Africa, could be delayed.

If that were the case, DirtFish understands the St Helena would remain anchored off the coast of Saudi Arabia and wait for the Canal traffic to clear rather than heading south around the bottom of Africa, which would be the alternative route to round two, the Lac Rose-based race on May 29/30.

“There’s time to wait,” said the source, “the ship has to be in position a fortnight before the next round in order to get the cars and the kit off and over to the race base in time.”

Words:David Evans

Photos:Extreme E