Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wing Mast?!?!?!

Fresh says: We're moving ahead' - By Peter Rusch

As mentioned this morning, the team is moving forward with its plans for a new rig platform, which the sailors were scheduled to begin testing on the boat next week.

I had a chance to spend a few minutes with Fresh (Ian Burns - design team coordinator) this morning to get his take on how what happened yesterday will affect the team.

"Well, it's never nice to lose a beautiful mast. But I don't see it as being a major setback unless we need the mast and currently, that's not our intention or plan.

"As far as the overall project is concerned, the new rig platform we were planning to use next week was going to become our main testing stream. In that sense this mast wasn't scheduled to sail beyond this week so it's possible it's only missed two or three days of sailing in its life."

He also said that after holding meetings last night, and looking at the available data, the team has a good idea as to what happened.

"We've had a look at it, but there was nothing really out of the ordinary. The boat was loaded heavily as it always is. The crew push right to the limits that we provide for them and everything was on the edge of the red line which is where we always sail.

"Conditions were perfect so there's no indication that had anything to do with it. It was really just a factor of pushing the boat harder and harder every day and going to new levels of performance and I think that's the direct cause of it. We know that sailing at full capacity is close to the limit. But that's how you have to design and sail these boats."

So what happens next?

"When these things happen, there's an incredible feeling of loss. You had a beautiful, well-engineered, working thing one second and the next second you've got a hunk of carbon fibre. So there is a feeling of loss. But you have to move on. We've got the right team to overcome this hurdle." -