The rebuild of the Vestas Wind at Persico Marine is going to plan and on scheduled for our expected return to the Race in Lisbon in June, so we took some time to catch up with Team Vestas Wind shore manager Neil Cox for a brief status update:
"It's been six weeks since we arrived at the Persico boat yard, and as the mountains of Italy start to thaw, it's also a reminder of the tight timeline we have closing in on us.
A lot has happened since getting our boat here, and we have ticked off some major and minor milestones that are hopefully positioning us to rejoin the race as expected in Lisbon.
We now have a new hull that had its final cook on the 25th of February, and the team here at the yard are now busy with all the prep work and fitting of the internal structure which will continue for some time over the next two weeks.
Some of these structural components are brand new and have been built in the background by all corners of the VOR consortium. Others we have been able to salvage as we were able to extract them in a careful enough manner that they are more than good enough to go back into the boat.
This is all happening in parallel with the repair work required to the aft section of deck.
We received the new aft section of cockpit late last week from Multiplast and now have it positioned on the jig with the rest of our original deck, being correctly positioned and aligned to be signed off by Race Management .
Tom Kiff is prisoner of our containers at the moment as the boat has been stripped bare. He is making sure everything will be in the best possible condition for when we begin to refit the deck.
We will have a few other Team members (Tony Rae, Tom Johnson, Nicolai Sehested) returning to Persico next week, as the Mauritius container has now arrived on site and we have all the safety gear, sails, deck gear and VOR-supplied equipment to go over and set ourselves up to get all these areas correctly accounted for, serviced and back together for when we regroup as a complete team.
These are still early days in the overall picture, but we are getting through it and we have a few important checkpoints coming up by the end of the month to give us a fair indication of how we are going .
It's certainly hard to be this far away from the race course for us all, but regardless, I hope all the teams enjoy a safe Southern Ocean leg - it's what the race has been built around for so long and what we all look forward to hearing about.
Photos: Brian Carlin / Team Vestas Wind
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