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AT update - from the Hub

Lightwave395

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Alex Thomson Racing Team Technical Director Ross Daniel explains the structural problem aboard HUGO BOSS. The repair is in progress.
“Last night (Saturday November 21), while Alex was performing a routine inspection aboard HUGO BOSS, he spotted what he thought was structural damage in the forward area of the boat. He immediately informed me. , as well as the shore crew, and we gave him clear instructions to allow him to conduct a full damage inspection.
This inspection revealed structural damage to a longitudinal beam at the front of the vessel. The damage appears to be isolated to this area alone. It is not yet clear what caused this damage. There have been no disturbing incidents aboard the boat during the race so far.
Together with our structural engineers and naval architects, we worked through the night to come up with a comprehensive repair plan for Alex. Meanwhile, Alex took some rest on board to get ready to start the repair work this morning.
Alex has now put the boat in a safe position to handle the sea conditions to reduce movement on board while he does the repair. He has all the necessary equipment on board, a detailed plan to follow and a team of highly qualified engineers who advise him. We are therefore confident in its ability to complete the repair.
Our goal is to make the necessary repairs quickly and efficiently, to minimize lost miles and get back to racing. "
Ross Daniel, Technical Director Alex Thomson Racing
 

LBRodders

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Possibly due to storm theta and the aggressive approach? Who knows 🤷

A long way to go, but this is not good news.
 

Sandy

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Sounds like the boat has a fundamental design flaw and has not been tested outside of a computer. Perhaps they should have spent a few days testing with Safe Haven Marine.

I hope this is not another repeat of Pete Goss and Team Phillips with a boat before its time.

Best of luck to the team,
 

LBRodders

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I don't know the nature of the damage, nor what Alex has available but surely it's not possible to fix structural damage to this type of boat with what he has onboard, whilst underway?

Possibly the definition of fix is the important question here.
 

flaming

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It's been done a few times, most notably Ian Walker's Vo70 Abu Dhabi on the approaches to cape horn. Whilst that was fully crewed, it was also a lot more serious.

 

flaming

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I don't know the nature of the damage, nor what Alex has available but surely it's not possible to fix structural damage to this type of boat with what he has onboard, whilst underway?

Possibly the definition of fix is the important question here.

That's.... Serious...

But also- that's a huge amount of structure in the front of that boat!
 

MikeBz

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At the end of the video " ...the engineers and designers are absolutely confident that the boat will be as strong, if not stronger, than it was before". Well you'd hope it would be stronger otherwise it's rather likely to break again. I would have thought it's unlikely to have been a UFO impact, otherwise he would have noticed the impact and there would probably be a hole or severe external damage.
 

LBRodders

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That's.... Serious...

But also- that's a huge amount of structure in the front of that boat!

Yes, interesting times for him. Although what's the root cause? Strengthening those areas may see other areas crack.

Not game over, but I feel he'll require others to hit snags.

Fingers crossed for him!
 

geem

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Yep. The size of the central stringer is massive yet is severely damaged. Its not a build defect so its a design defect assuming the damage was from hitting waves not a UFO. It will need to be stronger or it will happen again.
It could be that Alex was pushing too hard through the two LP systems and simply pushed the hull beyond the design limits but you would assume that the designer had designed for that kind of abuse
 

Sandy

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That is a serious design flaw and could have so easily found if the team has done some significant poor weather testing.
 

Bobc

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He pooped a video up earlier showing the problem. The central stringer (spine) is snapped in 3 or 4 places. I'm guessing that slamming into waves going the Theta was the cause.

Assuming he has the necessary kit on board, it can be mended well enough to get him round (just needs to stop it moving).
 
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i think it would be hard ( ne impossible ) to wave test that sort of thing,, surely that is for the " experts " and computers , which have obv not done well ,,, it looks like the longitudinal bulkhead / stiffener has let go at its weakest points , some poor modeling going on there , there should have been a smaller aperture . anyone notice the rod / tube wedged in on the other side of the longitudinal , looks like it is holding the deck up , or the bottom down !!
 
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Yep. The size of the central stringer is massive yet is severely damaged. Its not a build defect so its a design defect assuming the damage was from hitting waves not a UFO. It will need to be stronger or it will happen again.
It could be that Alex was pushing too hard through the two LP systems and simply pushed the hull beyond the design limits but you would assume that the designer had designed for that kind of abuse
i would have thot that anything designed to sustain the riggers of the southern ocean should have survived a few days in the Atlantic .
 

RJJ

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He pooped a video up earlier showing the problem. The central stringer (spine) is snapped in 3 or 4 places. I'm guessing that slamming into waves going the Theta was the cause.

Assuming he has the necessary kit on board, it can be mended well enough to get him round (just needs to stop it moving).
Agree. It's fractured in several places but it looks repairable, in that each spot is reasonably immobile. If bits were showing multiple fractures or wobbling around, it would seem far worse. The crucial thing is surely whether the existing structure has moved and building it "around itself" fails to allow for that movement.

(Caveat: armchair expert with no boatbuilding experience)

As such, it doesn't seem massively complex to add enough reinforcement...does it? It's not as though he's adding weight that's not already on board. Just have to hope he doesn't run out of bits and pieces.

Southern Ocean rollers could well be kinder to the boat than a North Atlantic autumn storm. It's quite possible Theta was the worst of it; or that the worst will come on the final stretch.
 
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the only thing of issue is keeping the parts from moving while they set , fortunately the weather looks pretty calm so the stresses will be low so hopefully there will not be any movement of the longitudinal .
 

geem

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the only thing of issue is keeping the parts from moving while they set , fortunately the weather looks pretty calm so the stresses will be low so hopefully there will not be any movement of the longitudinal .
I guess he will bolt and glue carbon panels to the sides of the central stringer where possible. This stops movement whilst the epoxy cures. In had to do similar on a bulkhead repair on a cat mid Atlantic a few years ago. It turned out to be super strong and never needed further attention
 

Martin_J

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Typed too slow... considerable engineering although hopefully enough materials on board to resolve...

Reminds me... Perhaps some extra repair stuff should be added to our on board spares...
 
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