Green Team hit the water

First sail for Ian Walker's Reichel Pugh VO70

Wednesday June 18th 2008, Author: Lucy Harwood, Location: United Kingdom
The Green Team’s Volvo Open 70 is sailing. The boat hit the water on Monday and then went for its inaugural sail yesterday. The Reichel Pugh designed boat, built by McConaghy Boats in China, has been based in UK since its arrival at the beginning of June. The team including 15 shore crew, boat builders and the race crew have been hard at work at Endeavour Quay in Gosport to prepare the boat for its first sail.

The boat is a truly international affair; with key components being flown in from all over the world over the past few weeks to complete the jigsaw. The mast was made by Southern Spars New Zealand; sails from North Sails UK; rudders and dagger boards from McConaghy Australia; keel bulb from Irons Brothers UK and the keel fin built in the USA. One of the last parts to be fitted was the keel. The team had built a dummy keel head in order to ensure the keel fitted perfectly on arrival, and to ensure no delays to the already tight schedule.

“We sailed today for five hours in perfect conditions," commented Ian Walker, Green Team skipper. "Starting in no wind we slowly loaded the boat up and quickly got sailing with full cant on the keel in 15 knots of wind. As always with new boats there were some glitches and we already have some modifications to make, but it was overwhelmingly positive. The boat feels beautifully balanced, the keel system is working well and the mast and sails set up nicely. It is a fantastic feeling to be out on the water with her after so much hard work by everyone concerned. I was particularly pleased we got out sailing for Tom Braidwood who project managed the build for us in China and who had to return to Australia immediately after sailing for the birth of his second child.”

The team will be based in Endeavour Quay, Gosport until the end of June when they will head to Ireland to setup a training camp, before the final move to Alicante at the end of August.

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