We can now confirm that, as suspected, the damage is contained to the keel area. The rest of the hull, the foils and rudders are undamaged.
Following the NDT, our Composite team began working to cut away the damaged parts of the hull and structure. Together, our Structural Engineers, Gurit; Naval Architects, VPLP; Design Manager, Pete Hobson; and in-house team have been working to construct a full repair plan. This plan will allow our boat builders to move swiftly forwards with the work required throughout the Christmas period.
Our in-house technical team, meanwhile, has been focused on the remainder of the keel area, in order to identify the parts that require replacement. These include the keel, keel hydraulics and bearings, some of which have significant lead times and so it was imperative that we moved quickly.
We have appointed additional specialist resource in order to deliver the repairs as quickly as possible. This includes Pro Build Composites, who will continue to lead the repair programme, and Carrington Boats Ltd, the team who built HUGO BOSS and therefore know the boat very well.
Our objective is to complete the work required as quickly as possible, but to deliver a comprehensive and robust repair. We expect to be sailing again by March 2020, at which point we will move straight into a testing and development period. We will aim to secure as many miles on the water as we can ahead of the New York to Vendée race in June.
In just six weeks, we have delivered HUGO BOSS safely back to the UK, carried out a full NDT, removed the damaged sections of the boat, put together a comprehensive repair programme and assembled a formidable team to manage and deliver that plan. To execute each of those steps in such a short space of time is a testament to the resilience and determination of this team.
While this is of course a setback for us, there are many positives to take away. During the short window of time that we had to sail alongside the rest of the IMOCA fleet in the Transat Jacques Vabre we were able to gain a good understanding of HUGO BOSS’ performance and potential. We are very confident with that performance and are looking forward to developing further as we push on towards the Vendée Globe.
Our team will commit everything they have to ensuring that, when we reach the start line of the Vendée Globe on November 8th, we are in the best possible position. Winning the Vendée remains the sole objective of this team.