Telefonica pass tests

Stability and ram readings taken by Volvo Ocean Race measurer James Dadd

Friday July 4th 2008, Author: Helena Paz, Location: United Kingdom
Everything’s on course as scheduled for the Telefónica team. The two Spanish Volvo Ocean Race entries are already at the team base and both have been the first boats to undergo the structure and safety tests required by the race organisers.

A fully comprehensive check is involved. Following the completion of the last the race the class measurers decided to introduce a new rule, requiring all of the Volvo Open 70s to pass a test to see whether they meet the parameters set out by the designers and to examine each boat's structure, it’s performance and the performance of the keel hydraulics in extreme situations.

The test involves, for the most part, testing each one of the keel rams separately: Only only one of the giant hydraulic rams is activated and the keel is pivoted to an angle of 40º, with the boat listing so that the keel stays parallel to sea level. This is done to see what pressure is applied to the hydraulic ram and if the boat could sail if it were necessary to sail with just one in operation, instead of two.

Once the first ram is tested and the boat’s reaction is measured, the process is repeated with the second ram pivoted to the other side. The same test also tests the stability of the boat.

During the whole process the Telefónica team members have been helping out with the manoeuvres on the quayside. Many team members such as Bouwe Bekking, Jaime Arbones, Pepe Ribes and Simon Fisher, among others, have also been on board to operate the canting keel system and carry out all the required procedures.

Chief Measurer, James Dadd, who has spent the past few days in Alicante, to carry out and oversee the tests, confirmed that both Telefónica blue and Telefónica black passed the tests satisfactorily: “There was no problem with either of the boats, so I
can confirm that everything is in order with both of them in this respect.”

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