If repairs go as planned, Alex Thomson hopes to have a small window to test sail Hugo Boss

It has been a week since a French fishing vessel and Hugo Boss collided. Since then the team at Alex Thomson Racing have been working around the clock to manage the boat’s repair. Hugo Boss was moved from her temporary home in the commercial docks of Les Sables d’Olonne to a local boat yard owned by Alliaura Marine on Tuesday. The 25 strong build and operational team is now in place and work is underway.

The build team set about cutting a section of the damaged hull yesterday (23 October). The damaged area, approximately 3.5m x 2m, has been removed and prepared for the new single skin to be fitted. The section which has been cut is larger than the damaged area itself – necessary to create a structurally sound section when it is re-built. The single skin, (made from carbon fibre), has been manufactured from the mould of another Open 60 – Generali.

A team from Multiplast in Vannes, France have been producing this new section, and it is expected to arrive today. The team will begin work fitting the new skin tomorrow morning. Southern Spars New Zealand, have produced the new section of mast which will be delivered to Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday evening. The team headed up by David Barnaby from Southern Spars have already begun preparing the damaged sections of the existing mast, and the sleeve repair process should begin on Monday.

The priority for the team on the ground right now is to manage a strong repair, but also a fast one. This will be a difficult to balance, but crucial to the team’s goal of making the start line. Once the structural repair has been completed the boat will need to be lifted back into the water and the mast stepped.

Harry McGougan, Alex Thomson Racing Operations Director, explained: “We have a team working around the clock to get the job done. There are a huge amount of logistics involved, not only in getting all the parts here, but making sure they are here on time. If the repair goes as planned, we hope to have a small window in which to test sail the boat and make sure the systems are in working order. This will be crucial in making sure the repair has been a success.”