5/23/2014

IMOCA 60: Humpty Dumpty is nearly back in the saddle

Scuttlebutt

It was exciting news when American Ryan Breymaier was selected to co-skipper the infamous HUGO BOSS in the upcoming Ocean Masters race on June 1. This double-handed transatlantic from New York to Barcelona, sailed in the IMOCA 60-foot monohull class, would place Ryan on an elevated platform.

This is the same HUGO BOSS that was featured in videos with its  skipper Alex Thomson: Mast Walk (1.2 million views) and Keel Walk (2.2 million views)  . But with Alex away for the birth of his second child, Ryan was tapped to fill in.

As Ryan seeks to be the first American to finish on the podium of the Vendee Globe, the solo around the world race in the IMOCA 60 class, this high profile opportunity should help him connect with vital sponsors.

But the opportunity appeared to go pear-shaped when HUGO BOSS snapped its rig on May 8 enroute to New York, but Humpty Dumpty is nearly back in business.
"We do not know why the mast broke; we were sailing upwind and were not pushing, in 25 knots of breeze. But if you had to arrive in any port with a broken rig, Newport is a good one. We arrived on May 11, had the rig out of the boat within the day, and have had every resource needed here to make it all happen.

"Now, eight days after arriving in Newport, with a mast in two pieces and additional structural damage, the team have worked around the clock to repair the mast, and it is now in one piece and structurally as strong as it ever was. We couldn't have got this far without the outstanding work from Jim Walker, Mike Elley, Southern Spars and the Alex Thomson Racing team. It's been an outstanding effort by all involved so far.
"However, it's not been a case of just fixing the mast; the knock on effect of the failure of the mast tube is that many of the mast components are put under stress beyond their engineered design limits and have needed replacing. This would be a simple process if they all came from a one stop shop, but that would be too easy! Instead we have had to have new parts manufactured in New Zealand, Denmark, Sri Lanka, Newport and the UK!

"Most of the parts are now here except the new set of rigging that is departing Sri Lanka and being carried by a very helpful Southern Spars employee! However, to add more complication to the mix, his flight changes in Dubai, so our fate lies in a Dubaian bag handler to take the bag off the first plane and put it on the correct second plane! So please keep your fingers crossed and let's hope he is having a good day and gets it right! If he does we will be on schedule to step the mast on Saturday."