Telefonica shore boss Campbell Field remains unsure whether collisions were responsible for the broken port daggerboards suffered by both the team’s yachts in the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. The Blue crew’s daggerboard was the first to go, breaking eight days into the leg when they were reaching in 15 knots of breeze, before Black lost theirs a day later in marginally stronger conditions. Initially a collision was suspected by Blue skipper Bouwe Bekking for his team’s damage, but both boats have since been hauled from the water and Field says there are no conclusive indications of what happened to either.

Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race

“There is no physical evidence on the boats of any collision, but it might have been something soft,” Field said. “The jury is still out. In those conditions where you are working with daggerboards that are at about 20% of their maximum working load it is likely that they hit something. “One of the rudders (on the Black boat) has a couple of little marks on it. That could have been from the leftover daggerboard going past or whatever we might have ran into.”

Despite the issues, Field insisted the team was not considering the option of ordering a stronger set of daggerboards for the Volvo Ocean Race leg 3. “We are building some more because we are starting to run out of spares, but they are of the same design spec,” he said. “We built one port and one starboard to cover two port and two starboard on the boats. It is sheer bad luck that we broke two on the same side.”

Field went on to reveal that the ingenuity of Marstrom, their daggerboard suppliers, meant they were not left searching for a second spare.

He explained: “The guys who built the original units took it on their own back to build another set because they had the moulds and the materials. If we didn’t have that daggerboard ready to go we would be screwed.”

The team is now in the process of importing its spare set of daggerboards with one due from Cape Town and another from Sweden. However, issues with customs have halted Field’s progress.

He said. “One is coming from Cape Town, which we ordered two weeks ago and it is still not here. It’s caught in customs getting into India. That will probably go into Blue because it has been in Blue.

“The other left Sweden on Tuesday and hopefully that one will be here this week.”

Field and his crew now have nine days to get the two boats ready for leg three, but he expects both to be back on the water by Monday or Tuesday.

To achieve that target he has recruited two extra boat builders from the UK for this stopover, but, aside from repairs to a crack in the bow of the Black boat, he claims the majority of the job list is routine maintenance.

“We have found a few things that we are looking at, like a crack in the Black boat. There is a small crack in the bow which we think might be left over from the leg one wipe-out incident. Nothing serious but it is one of those jobs we want to do properly so I brought in some extra guys.

“The rest is fairly routine maintenance. There are some repairs to sails (Telefonica Blue blew out two spinnakers and tore the mainsail, while Black reported damage to their A3) and a few bits and pieces but it is quite straightforward.”

Volvo Ocean Race Overall Standings

1 Ericsson 4Ericsson 4 26.0
2 Telefonica BlueTelefonica Blue 19.0
3 PUMA Ocean RacingPUMA Ocean Racing 18.0
4 Green DragonGreen Dragon 16.0
5 Ericsson 3Ericsson 3 14.5
6 Telefonica BlackTelefonica Black 13.5
7 Delta LloydDelta Lloyd 7.5
8 Team RussiaTeam Russia 7.5

Read more about the Volvo Ocean Race:

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 2 – Ericsson 4 Takes Line Honors

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