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SANYA REPAIR TEAM ON SCHEDULE

© Marc Bow/Volvo Ocean Race
© Marc Bow/Volvo Ocean Race

Team Sanya shore manager Nick Bice says he is confident that the replacement bow section will be ready by the time their incapacitated Volvo Open 70 arrives in Cape Town by cargo ship next week.

“Our main goal is to get Team Sanya back in the race. When the boat hits the water the sailing team will be able to have 100 per cent confidence in the work we have done”


However, with the daunting and time consuming task of cutting out the damaged area and grafting in place the newly built piece still to come, Bice says the team very much are reliant on the boat arriving in Cape Town on time.

“The fact that bow section will be ready when the boat arrives puts us in good stead but we are really in the hands of the elements regarding that arrival time. We don’t have any time to play with and we will need to get straight into it.”

Bice explained the scale of the boatbuilding task facing them:

“Basically we have built an oversized section of the bow, going from 500 millimetres above the waterline, all the way from the bow to behind the watertight bulkhead that saved the boat from sinking.”

Bice says a number of construction options were explored including having the moulds for the new section built using machine tools, but ultimately lack of time meant they had to fall back on traditional boatbuilding techniques.

“In the end we just set up some frames and planked them up to create a male plug that we laid the various layers of skin and core over.”

The replacement piece has been built oversized because the team have not yet been able to fully assess the scale of the damage.

“We weren’t able to cut too deeply into the hull before it went on the ship as the insurance people wanted to take a look first. So we’ve built it much bigger than we expect to need it to be.

“Once we know how big an area will actually be replaced, we can cut the replacement piece to suit.”

Bice acknowledges that the repair work will require a non-stop 24-hour-a-day effort to get Sanya back in the Volvo Ocean Race on time.

“We have a great boatbuilding team led by Greg Salthouse and we have another team from the UK headed by Ian Lovering coming down to do the painting and fairing. It’s going to be tight for sure but I am confident we can get it done.

“Our main goal is to get Team Sanya back in the race. When the boat hits the water the sailing team will be able to have 100 per cent confidence in the work we have done.”

Source Volvo Ocean Race


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