Trying to repair a yacht to racing standards is a nerve-wracking experience, as these VOR case histories prove
Breaking the forestay early in the leg was unfortunate. According to skipper Ian Walker the stay broke at the top termination. Early indications suggested that this was a material problem in the steel end fitting and possibly linked to the team’s use of internal halyard locks rather than the external ones used by the rest of the fleet.
Internal structural damage sustained in the forward sections of Green Dragon’s hull started with three breaks in the ring frame between the two water tight bulkheads, sited approximately under the foredeck hatch.
“I heard the failure happen as I was in the bow monitoring the situation,” explained Walker.
“We bolted and bonded C-plate [pre-cured carbon sheet that is cut to fit] and some of the media desk that we had cut up, either side of the three breakages, then replaced the secondary bonding. We then repaired the lamination to the boat. All of these repairs held but we suffered further breakages in the same ring frame later on. The second breakages happened above the repaired area. We repaired these with carbon battens.
“What we didn’t know was whether there had been hull damage, but despite running into some more serious weather, the boat remained pretty solid after the repairs.”
Despite the drama and some nerve wracking moments, the Dragon and her crew made it to the end of the leg.