Hugo Boss repair update

Spars and hull work all on track

Saturday October 25th 2008, Author: Jo Grindley, Location: United Kingdom
Rig: Mast still in two pieces but all mousing lines have been run through both sections ready for when the join takes place. Work continues on the join areas of both sections, grinding down the carbon to ensure the insert and sleeve fit perfectly. The mast pieces are expected to arrive Sunday morning, they have arrived at Heathrow and are on their way to les Sables D’Olonne. A tent has been built next to the warehouse door to enable us to extend the length of the warehouse, as it not long enough to accommodate the 30m mast. Repairs to the damaged parts of the spreaders and boom continue, grinding down the carbon and slowly rebuilding using carbon laminate. The mast will be fully set-up for the joining operation tomorrow (Sunday).

Rigging: When the mast came down, effectively all the halyards and reefing lines had to be cut and all these have had to be replaced. Over 1km of rope has been ordered and delivered and the splicing team has been busy splicing loops and ends onto all these ropes. Work continues well with excellent progress. We are hoping for most of the splicing to be finished in the next couple of days. However, some of the splice work will need to wait until the rig is restepped, as the ends attached to the mast and will need to be inch perfect.

Boatbuilding: The new section of hull has been made from the original mould and was collected by one of the team here last night from the factory three hours away. Yesterday, an initial hole was cut from the boat at the collision point and today this has been widened and ground down in preparation for attaching the new piece. Damaged sections of the deck have also been cut out and are ready for the new sections to be cut and put in place ready for gluing tomorrow. The major advance here today as the new section of mast has been dry-fitted into place (i.e placed in situ supported by wooden battens). This has gone as well, if not better, than expected - with the hull sections matching up extremely well despite being from slightly different moulds. Next stage is to start applying a carbon skin on the inside which will effectively lock the new section into place, while the outside can be faired and painted.

Overall, the team remains confident that the boat will be in the water in a week’s time. Provisional arrangements have been made for cranes and/or lorries to enable us to get the boat back in the water on 31 October, ready for an intensive week of sailing and fine-tuning before the race start.

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