The refit will take place at the Qatar Navigation Shipyard in Messaied , Qatar , under the supervision of newly appointed skipper, Brian THOMPSON. Working with Thompson, Jonny MALBON will be project managing the refit onsite, using local labour from Qatar Engineering & Construction Company Limited and a team of experts brought to Qatar to carry out the work.
'Qatar 2006 needs some TLC,' Brian THOMPSON said. 'It's been sailed hard since its launch in 2000 and along the way the boat has really shown its pedigree. It has an impressive race record including winning The Race, a non-stop circumnavigation race, plus numerous other speed and distance records. Now it's time to get it back into top condition so that we can go out and continue its winning ways by taking line honours in the Oryx Quest 2005.'
There is no major structural work planned. Most of the refit will involve replacing basic sailing equipment such as sails, running rigging, deck hardware and some electronics. Attention will be paid to getting the hull faired and back to a top racing finish. Most important of all, the team will carefully scrutinise all the equipment, including safety gear, and repair or replace where necessary.
'Once the refit has taken place, Qatar 2006 will be a major force to be reckoned with,' said Race Director Alan GREEN. 'Everyone knows that the boat won The Race and is quite likely one of the fastest sailboats in the world. I look forward to seeing it on the start line in February in perfect racing form.'
In addition to overseeing the boat refit, Brian will also be putting together his crew for the Oryx Quest in the coming weeks. It is anticipated that Qatar 2006 will be back in the water sailing before the end of January, ready for the race on February 5 2005.