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Volvo Ocean Race teams race against time to finish repairs

by Volvo Ocean Race on 12 Mar 2012
Groupama hauled and starting repairs while the other yachts are still finishing - Volvo Ocean Race, Leg 4 Finish © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
Volvo Ocean Race teams are busy making repairs, during the leg four stopover in Auckland, in preparation for the Pro-Am race to be held on 16th March.

Leg four winners Groupama are on track to finish repairs to their damaged bow by Tuesday evening despite the Auckland rain that hampered the six shore teams’ progress.

'Basically we’re still on schedule to finish at the end of the day tomorrow,' said Groupama shore team manager Ben Wright.

'There’ll be a bit of filler and paint through the night tomorrow night, but that’s cosmetics and secondary to the big picture – and then we go in the water on Wednesday.

'For the moment we’re on schedule and it’s OK.'

Two days of rain in Auckland have not made life easy for the shore crews as they attempt to laminate, grind and cut in the wet.


Groupama’s boat building team, led by build manager Pierre Tissier, have been forced to work under a tarpaulin to escape the constant drizzle.

'For sure the weather is pretty miserable here,' Wright added.

'It makes everything so much longer and so much more difficult to do, laminating and work like that, it’s clearly not ideal.

'It would nice to be in a shed somewhere, but we don’t have that possibility like others, which is unfortunate.

'We’re doing the best with what we’ve got and it’ll be OK.

'We’re comfortable with what we’ve got, we’re not going to do a bad job, we’re not going to make a rough job of it. We’ll make it happen.'

Most of the teams have brought in extra hands to help with the tight turnaround.

'As long as you have enough people, you can get everything done,' said Puma Ocean Racing project manager Kimo Worthington.


'We have a couple of extra sailmakers to help get our sails done, and a couple of extra boat builders to get the work done.

'The guys worked very late last night and all the teams are doing the same thing.

'We’re all going to make the starting line somehow.'

Telefónica shore team manager Horacio Carabelli said his crew had their jobs list under control despite it growing to around 70 items.

'We have quite a good amount of work to be done,' he said. 'Small things have appeared during our checks of the boat.

'Our ultrasound guy Stefano is checking the structure and hopefully he doesn’t come up with anything new.

'At the moment everything is under control and the only issue is the weather – we really need some good weather to fix what we have to do.'

With just four days until the action kicks off again in Auckland with the Pro-Am, the pressure is on – but with a Southern Ocean leg coming up, the shore crews can’t let any problems to slip under their radar.

'We are extremely diligent in what we have been looking at,' Sanya’s shore team manager Nick Bice said.

'We know the exact areas to look at within the boat and we’ll do a full ultrasound of the boat as well, just to make sure that everything’s there and we can sleep at night while they’re in the middle of the Southern Ocean.'

The DHL Shore Crew Award for leg four will be presented to the winning shore team at the leg four prize giving on Thursday March 15.


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