The yacht that collided with a fishing vessel in Hong Kong during the Volvo Ocean Race has been forced to skip a leg of the event due to damage.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing's yacht will be unable to sail from Hong Kong to Auckland this month and will instead be brought down on a freight vessel to undergo repairs.

Among the repairs needed included the bow being rebuilt. A new section was being constructed in Italy in compliance with the Volvo Ocean 65 class rule, before being shipped to New Zealand.

"Thanks to the ongoing support and collaboration of our partners, the Volvo Ocean Race, and our entire team, we were able to gather a team of experts to assess our options to continue the race", co-founder Charlie Enright said in a statement released by the team.

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"With a seriously damaged boat and a new set of challenges to surmount, we have had to map out the necessary steps that will enable our team to get back in the race," co-founder Mark Towill added.

The team had limited choices in making the decisions, as repairs were unable to be completed in Hong Kong due to a number of factors including the timing of the race, so the yacht will arrive in Auckland ahead of the fleet.

Despite being forced to retire when after the crash in Hong Kong that saw a fisherman on the non-racing vessel die in hospital, Vestas 11th Hour Racing were third in the standings after four legs had been completed.

Their hopes of winning the event wouldn't be completely blow by skipping the sixth leg, though they will now face a massive task through legs seven to 11.

"Along with our colleagues in the Volvo Ocean Race and the other competing teams, we have all offered our sincere condolences to all those affected by the incident," Towill said.

Kiwi Blair Tuke's MAPFRE crew led the event after four legs, holding a four-point lead over fellow New Zealanders Stu Bannatyne and Daryl Wislang's Dongfeng Race Team.