White and Thomson on track for Vendée Globe start


They may both be on a less travelled road, making ready for the Vendée Globe start, but the news remains positive from both the last minute refit of Steve White’s Spirit of Weymouth and from the Alliaura Boatyard shed where the Hugo Boss is responding well to treatment. Indeed both British boats should be back in the water at the weekend.

Skipper Steve White brings us up to date with his travails on the commercial dock in Les Sables d'Olonne:'We are actually moving forwards, definitely.' He reaffirms, ' The sails will be ready tomorrow, painted and everything. We get them Friday. We have a rigger from UK and two from here arriving Thursday to get the rigging done for Friday afternoon. Painting the bottom is one schedule, despite the best efforts of the weather to muck things up. So by lunch time Thursday all the bits that need to be painted orange will be done, so the rudders, the keel and so on, the bits in white will be done, and the new branding will be on the side.

But as it is you finish up mucking about like a headless chicken trying to sort out little things – plastic to go on the side to protect the soft, new paint, chasing up the last of the bits that come from the UK, but things are on schedule, nothing we can’t get over, Inside the electronics are 98% done, Fleet 77 is in and working, the generator will be stuck down now, so it’s coming on. I feel I do need to spend some time with the family before the start and I am hoping I get a couple of days away to do just that.'

Harry McGougan, Hugo Boss’ shore manager keeps up the commentary: 'In Boat World we are just laminating the outside skins, inside skins of the bulkheads, so by tomorrow it is on to prepping the paintwork. So by the end of tomorrow we will have primer on and then the vinyl going back on for the branding.

'In Mast World the inside shells were glued on last night and so now laminating, and the first load goes on tomorrow and then the final cook will be tomorrow evening, taking about 12 hours. The rig guys are busy getting the trip lines and mousing. Future Fibres delivery leaves tomorrow morning and arrived Thursday morning, the mast electrics go in on Thursday, so Thursday will be a big day getting the rig ready and out of the shed, at about 0800hrs.

'Prep World we are down to making sure that the screw heads are all lined up the same way…..well, not quite but really we have got as far as we can without the boat. There is only so much we can do until the boat is back in the water.'

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