Telefonica are still unsure what caused the broken daggerboards on both yachts
The Telefonica shore team – and boss Campbell Field – remains unsure whether collisions were responsible for the broken port daggerboards suffered by both the team’s yachts in the Volvo Ocean second leg.
The Blue’s daggerboard was the first to go, breaking eight days into the leg when they were reaching in 15 knots of breeze, before Black lost theirs a day later in marginally stronger conditions.
Initially a collision was suspected by Blue skipper Bouwe Bekking for his team’s damage, but both boats have since been hauled from the water and Field says there are no conclusive indications of what happened to either.
“There is no physical evidence on the boats of any collision, but it might have been something soft,” Field explained. “The jury is still out. In those conditions where you are working with daggerboards that are at about 20% of their maximum working load it is likely that they hit something.”
“One of the rudders (on the Black boat) has a couple of little marks on it. That could have been from the leftover daggerboard going past or whatever we might have ran into.”
Despite the issues, Field insisted the team was not considering the option of ordering a stronger set of daggerboards. “We are building some more because we are starting to run out of spares, but they are of the same design spec,” he said. “We built one port and one starboard to cover two port and two starboard on the boats. It is sheer bad luck that we broke two on the same side.”
Field went on to reveal that the ingenuity of Marstrom – their daggerboard suppliers – meant they were not left searching for a second spare. “The guys who built the original units took it on their own back to build another set because they had the moulds and the materials. If we didn’t have that daggerboard ready to go we would be screwed.”
Field and his crew now have nine days to get the two boats ready for leg three, but he expects both to be back on the water next Monday or Tuesday. To achieve this he has recruited two extra boat builders from the UK for this stopover, but, aside from repairs to a crack in the bow of the Black boat, he claims the majority of the job list is routine maintenance.