Reviewing Volvo Ocean 65 mast failure
Published on April 3rd, 2017
MAPFRE, which broke their mast on March 30 while training for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017, will be back sailing by mid-April.
The Volvo Ocean 65 crew have been meeting with Volvo Ocean Race’s Chief Technical Development Officer, Nick Bice, and Head of the Boatyard, Neil Cox, in Sanxenxo to investigate the incident and make a plan to get the team back on the water as soon as possible.
That will be in remarkably quick time, with the new mast due to arrive in Lisbon as early as April 6. The boat should be relaunched by April 14 and the team should be sailing again by April 17.
“We’re keen to identify what exactly happened during the incident, and that process is ongoing, but the vibe around the team base is very positive,” explained Bice. “The guys know that their next sailing session which was planned for the 17th is still scheduled.”
Bice confirmed that the rigging had undergone stringent testing before leaving The Boatyard in Lisbon. “We conducted non-destructive testing on the mast, which was from last edition and had sailed approximately 70,000 miles, including taking an ultrasound of the mast to ensure no anomolies, and testing the rigging,” he continued.
Watch captain Rob Greenhalgh added: “As soon as we get the new mast in the boat, we’ll be out sailing again. Hopefully this has only cost us seven or 10 days of actual sailing time – we’ll have to wait to see the exact impact of it.”
So what’s next for the Spanish team’s Volvo Ocean 65? “The boat will be delivered under motor to Lisbon, which will take around two days,” added Bice. “Meanwhile, we’ll continue to conduct the necessary due diligence, debriefing to ensure we’re doing everything we can. We already have extremely stringent processes in place, and there’s no reason to change them at this moment in time.”
2017-18 Edition: Entered Teams – Skippers
• Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED)
• Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
• MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP)
• Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
Background: Racing the one design Volvo Ocean 65, the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race begins in Alicante, Spain on October 22 2017 with the final finish in The Hague, Netherlands on June 30 2018. In total, the 10-leg race will visit 12 cities in six continents: Alicante, Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff, Gothenburg, and The Hague. Seven teams are expected to compete with the hopes for one more.