Horatio Carabelli on Telefonica's hull damage

Paul Todd / Volvo Ocean Race
Delamination and core sheer in excessive conditions
Telefonica was the only one of the three Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed VO70s competing in this Volvo Ocean Race to suffer structural problems to her hull on leg five. “Basically one of the front panels suffered delamination of one of the skins. It was the skin and also a partial shear of the core, about 3m forward of the mast on the bottom,” explains Telefonica’s Shore Team Manager, Horatio Carabelli, of the damage that occurred to the Spanish VO70 while battling through the Pacific section of the Southern Ocean. At the time, the team carried out a running repair using sail battens to stabilise the damaged panel. “We made several suggestions of how to do it,” says Carabelli. “They needed to slow down, because with Sikaflex, when the panel is moving, you just can’t fix anything. So some mainsail battens were glued to the panel to stabilise it to keep it from moving and making it worse.” Meanwhile the shore crew prepared a 2.3m x 0.6m sized panel in a CNC-machined female mould that would fit on to the inner skin, to help ensure that the VO70 made it to Brazil without further incident. Due to transporting this to Ushuaia and then on by boat to a cove to leeward of Herschel Island, just north of Cape Horn, the panel also had to be cut into sections. Once Carabelli had been united with the crew, they had the panel fitted in 10 hours and had to wait another five hours for the resin to cure. Upon arriving in Itajai, close to Carabelli’s home town of Florianopolis, this temporary beefing up of the panel was taken off and, over the course of 10 days the Spanish VO70 was out of the water in Itajai, the damaged panel was replaced and the boat successfully remeasured. The exact reasons