Smooth progress for Team PhilipsTeam Philips relaunch went smoothly on Saturday, after her night in the slings hovering above the River Dart. Pete Goss, Paul Larsen and Mike Calvin spent the Friday night on the boat, checking the lifting strops and connections as she hung from the crane. It was 1240 when she finally touched the water, with Pete Goss doing the traditional thing with a champagne bottle - on the port bow, which had been so extensively repaired.
There were 30,000 people watching the relaunch and a flotilla followed the journey down the river to the marina in Dartmouth, where she spent her first night back in the water. For Andy Hindley, second time around was a lot less stressful, 'Last time it was enjoyable, but worrying. This time the launch has given us enjoyment without the worry ... Last time it was all manic, all rush, rush, rush. Now we've been able to take things in our stride.' Well, they did have an appointment with the Queen to keep last time. On this occasion there were just a few satellite broadcast bookings, and they were a day early for those.
By Sunday afternoon, Team Philips was back at Totnes for the next high water and the mast stepping. That also went smoothly and the team began work on attaching the wishbones. The plan is to sail locally towards the end of the week, before leaving for extensive sea trials in the Atlantic in early October.
Pete Goss commented, 'By the time we start The Race, we will have sailed more than 10,000 miles in Team Philips, including two trans-Atlantics. The second will be in the winter depressions of the North Atlantic where we will push her really hard. If we are not ready by then, we never will be. I'm not going unless I believe the boat is safe.'