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20 February 2003, 11:18 am
Damage Discovered to Starboard Daggerboard of Kingfisher2
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Jules Verne Trophy

A slow 24 hours, with only 300 miles in last 24hrs, as the crew slow boat to work on repairing the starboard daggerboard through the night.
It was discovered late yesterday that the daggerboard had been damaged in the collision - it probably saved the rudder in fact, as the broken piece of daggerboard deflected off the rudder and not the submerged object that Kingfisher2 collided with on the previous night. "It became clear we had lost half the daggerboard and we were all pretty surprised to think we had not realised that it had gone." said MacArthur.

Ellen and crew slowed Kingfisher2 for 6 hours to make the repair to the 4-metre high daggerboard, weighing 200 kilos, solving the problem there and then rather than risk the board getting jammed in the casing. The lighter winds actually helped the crew. Trying to make these kind of repairs in 50 knots would have been a different story. It took 8 of the crew to lift the board out and cut away the damaged shards of carbon, filling holes and adding a pad eye to the damaged end before returning the board upside down to its casing. There was no other damage to the daggerboard casing or any other part of the boat...the repairs to the rudder fixings damaged yesterday have also been made. Kingfisher2 is now back sailing at 100 per cent.

Whilst the damage to the daggerboard will not effect performance too much in the Southern Ocean, it will make the upwind part of the course back up the Atlantic after rounding Cape Horn more difficult.

"We have about 1 metre of repaired daggerboard underneath - it won't effect our downwind performance at all but not perfect for sailing upwind," said Ellen.

It is possible to change the daggerboards over putting the full-length, undamaged daggerboard in the relevant hull depending on whether they are on port or starboard tack. It is not like racing round the buoys, tacking to make a mark, Kingfisher2 will stay on one tack for long periods of time. Transferring daggerboards, although hard, is not impossible especially with 14 crew on board. Ellen did this on her own in the Vendée Globe when she damaged her port daggerboard mid-Atlantic on the way back to the finish - then she had to remove a board that was 1.5 times her height and over 3 times her weight.

The slower pace has meant Kingfisher2 has not hooked into the north-westerlies forecast, but instead is going to be effected by the next low pressure system. A stressful day yesterday between daggerboard problem and difficult weather decisions for Ellen.

Summary: 0700 GMT 20.2.03 (position taken at 0716 GMT)
Position: 45 33'S 34 25'E (321 miles W of Prince Edwards Islands)

Ahead/Behind the record: 3 hours 52 minutes behind Orange (using WP6)
Ahead/Behind Geronimo: 60 hours 35 minutes behind Geronimo (using WP6)

Day 21 24 hour run (point to point):
Kingfisher2 300 nm
Orange 366 nm
Geronimo 490 nm

End DAY 21 distance to go (on theoretical course):
KF2 16809 nm
Orange 16747 nm
Geronimo 15840 nm

Boat speed: 8 knots
Course: 111
Distance to WP6 46 00'S / 70 00'E 200 miles north of Kerguelen Islands : 1478 nm (theorectical shortest distance)



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