Team Malizia: Can we get back in the race now?

Over the last 12 hours the Team Malizia have been working hard on getting all the other repairs managed whilst they can not sail at full force. This should mean that once the repair is fully cured Malizia - Seaexplorer will be back to 100% (minus the ripped C0 sail).

Southern Ocean 3rd March 2023 - From 08:45 UTC, co-skipper Rosalin Kuiper spent two and a half hours up the mast this morning in a rough sea state with about 20 knots of wind in order to finish the repair. She sanded away some of the repaired area and then went about fixing the new lock to the halyard, not an easy job dangling at 28 metres. 

Once the repair was sanded, Rosie then carried out a tap test on the mast which she filmed in order to send this video and photos of the repair to the shore team. This involves tapping the mast in the area of the repair and then listening to the sound that comes back. If the pitch of the sound changes then this means there is a discrepancy in the laminate. The noise that came back sounded very equal and clear, as confirmed by Rosie in the video and our tech team on Whatsapp, all the team are very positive. The laminate appears thick, even and strong.

The advice from the tech team to the boat is that the team can continue to sail but they would advise to retain the reduced fractional sail for at least another 6 hours. This is because the laminate was only finished at night when the temperatures were between 12-17 degrees which is not as hot as you would normally need for fully curing the laminate. Therefore, the team have advised to not fully use the mast yet and instead to keep the fractional and allow the warmth of the day to keep heating the laminate area

One of the main jobs to sort out was rigging the lock on the C0 halyard, this is the sail that we lost two days ago. This is challenging because we lost the hook and because this rope goes outside the top of the mast and then back down the mast. The onshore rigging team led by Marine Rigging Services explained to Boris and Rosie how they can repurpose the Spigot from the J4 (a sail less often used) and combine this with the halyard of C0. After Boris prepares this on the boat, Rosie is up the mast to do the final fix, this proved very challenging. In order to assist Rosie with the repair Boris had to climb out onto the outrigger (the poles that stick horizontally out of the boat) to move the halyard aside and allow her a better angle to repair. Now Rosie has completed this it means they can use the halyard of the C0 to hoist JO. The J0 will in some ways replace the larger, more curved C0. The J0 is used for downwind sailing in approximately 20 knots of wind.

Rosie commented: “Boris has been amazing through this on the support side being the guy downstairs and on the communications and guiding us through the whole process. Once again, amazing teamwork!” After updating the shore team at 11:16 UTC Rosie headed for bed after the exhausting mission. 

Co-skipper Will Harris, the hero of Team Malizia during yesterday’s mast repair, has managed to get some much needed sleep, although we would guess not enough! The 29 year old British sailor is well but very stiff and sore from yesterday's long ordeal. Will commented: “I am really happy with the work we carried out yesterday, we really pulled together as a team, each of us working relentlessly to repair the boat, I am really happy it seems to have worked!”

This is not all that has been happening on board Malizia - Seaexplorer in the last hours. The team have done some resting but mostly they have taken the lull in sailing as a chance to fix those things that were also broken. Nico Lunven and Boris were focused on repairing the J2 headsail, Boris cut a big patch in order to stick it over the rip that had formed. With the help of Will holding his legs, Nico was suspended about 2 metres in the air to apply a patch to the unfurled J2 sail. 

Nico messaged the team: “Now we are sailing again, the repair seems to have gone really well, I am excited to get back to navigating and to get us back in this race! During a phone call with Team Director Holly Cova at 12:30 UTC, Boris Herrmann said: “I am so happy, we are back sailing, the workshop is cleaned away and most things are fixed on board. I feel so ready for the next part of this race, it fills me with energy to think about what we have just achieved across the whole team and I am ready to go for the rest of this leg! The race is still on, we aren’t far from 11th Hour and Biotherm and the race is still long!

In approximately six hours time at 19:00 UTC the team will be approaching darkness and able to hoist their headsail again and sail at full speed! Antoine Auriol will continue to do his expert job in keeping us and the public updated on these events, allowing us to emotionally live this journey with our Team Malizia sailors. 

Team Director Holly Cova added “Besides coordinating between our tech team and sailing team, we have had great support from The Ocean Race, our fans and from our main partners. Our partners have been sending us hourly messages of support, giving us confidence and strength during this leg and for the future of our mission! Together with Zurich Group Germany, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hapag-Lloyd, Schütz, the Yacht Club de Monaco, EFG International and Kuehne+Nagel we have never been stronger! This is A Race We Must Win!

Source: Press info Team Malizia

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