movistar shore manager sacked

Fred Barrett gets his marching orders reports Bruce Montgomery

Wednesday March 8th 2006, Author: Bruce Montgomery, Location: none selected
Fred Barrett (right, behind Andrew Cape), the Australian Technical Shore Manager of the beleaguered Spanish VOR yacht movistar, has been sacked.

Barrett, a naval architect with an impressive CV including time with Sparkman & Stephens in New York, had project managed the Spanish Volvo Open 70's build at Boat Speed in Australia.

Despite being competitive - movistar won the Melbourne-Wellington fourth leg of the race - the boat has been beset with problems with her keel structure, the titanium rods in her canting keel hydraulic system and also with delamination of her bomb bay doors beneath the hull.

The problems culminated in skipper Bouwe Bekking warning the crew the boat was on the verge of sinking as she approached Cape Horn last week as water entered the hull through the doors and into the keel box.

Barrett studied naval architecture at the Australian Maritime College in Tasmania, then worked as a designer at Robert Clifford’s Incat shipyard in Hobart. During his time there he developed Mungral Yachts as a separate business. That took him to Sparkman and Stephens in New York then to McConaghy’s yard in Sydney.

On Sunday Barrett got his marching orders while in Ushuaia, Chile, repairing movistar’s keel for the second time in three weeks. Barrett emailled the news:

“Dear All, I regret to inform you all that I have been terminated from my contract to the Movistar Sailing Team, effective of today, Sunday the 5th of March 2006.

“The management of the team at the highest level in Spain felt it necessary for a head to roll following the recent boat related issues and my name was picked from the hat.

“It is a hard way to go, but I understand the approach taken by management and the sponsors and I accept their decision and I only hope the best for the team and most importantly the guys onboard the boat, I hope it will shine through in the end. The shore team will continue to do their very best and I will be sad to bid them farewell, they're great mates.

“I am of course quietly shattered after putting in an enormous amount of blood, sweat and tears into this project for over two years, pulling the resources together to build the most competitive Farr boat in the race.

“I would like to thank you all for the working relationship we have all had, it is of course very sad for me personally to be leaving the Volvo family, but I take with it memories and friendships that I hope will last the tests of time and that perhaps I will be lucky or unlucky enough to do this again.

“For now I am an open and free agent, I will continue to consultant in some capacity for my old mate Bouwe Bekking in a technical capacity for the remainder of this month. My new location to be is still at this stage unknown but most likely in the United Kingdom for a period of time.

“From Ushuaia, the bottom of the world, there's only one way to go, UP!!

Cheers to All,

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