Safety and Integrity are Priorities.
Friday 29 June 2012
After a relatively informal, friendly official welcome briefing Thursday evening at the Newport Shipyard the KRYS OCEAN RACE MOD70 teams which are preparing for Monday’s start of the Prologue race to New York, are fully engaged in the long hours and hard work of making ready for their first proper ocean race.
Marco Simeoni, President of the Multi One Design organisation offered a warm welcome on Thursday evening to the skippers and teams, extending his good wishes for the race itself and highlighted the opportunities for the future for this exciting class.
“The KRYS OCEAN RACE, New York to Brest represents a big, important step for the MOD project.” Simeoni said, “ There are many people who will be watching to see what we are capable of. I wish you all a very good Transat and hope you all arrive close together, within the area of a pocket handkerchief! The venues and organisation we have in place are great and what we have now is really exciting. Our objective now is to grow the fleet. We are inviting a maximum number of potential owners over the course of the events and different venues.”
Starting today, Friday, the MOD 70’s are all checked over thoroughly by an official measurer and scrutineer appointed by the French Sailing Federation. This is a comprehensive, time critical process. It is essential not only to not only determine that the safety and security regulations are applied rigidly, according the ISAF Special Regulations category, and those prescriptions specific to the class rules, but also to ensure that the boats are strictly within the One Design class rules which should guarantee that the boats are completely evenly matched.
Guillaume Evrard, Assistant Race Director of the KRYS OCEAN RACE explains: “Jean Luc Laurent is the scrutineer and measurer who is working for the French Sailing Federation and his job consists of two things.”
“The first task is to check all the safety equipment and to check that everybody has the same, all of the things which are needed in the Offshore Special Regulations and the MOD70 sailing rules.”
“The second is to check that all the boats are the same, that they comply to One Design.”
“So today he has a lot of work to do. For example one thing might be the mast: checking that they are not rotating more for one than they should be. And he also has to make a lot of sealing (some safety and security items are sealed so they are not moved or changed during racing).
And from the point of view of measurement and checking to ensure the boats are strictly in class. It’s just double checking.”
Meantime there has been a steady stream of visitors making their way to the Newport Shipyard to see the MOD 70 fleet, from casual passing observers to potential team owners. And the sailing Mecca of Newport is proving very popular with the teams, not just because of the ambience, but the facilities on site are second to none. Indeed, though the KRYS OCEAN RACE starts from New York, the Newport Shipyard is the technical base where the MOD70’s need to return if they have any serious issues after starting.
Newport Shipyard’s manager Eli Dana has been vital to the on the ground operations for the fleet, but has enjoyed seeing visitors arriving to see the MOD70s:
“Interest from Newport is definitely growing. I mean, here, two weeks ago, people were like “MOD70s. What?” Maybe a lot of raceboat guys knew what a MOD70 was, but outside of that they were “What are they?” But I think now that they have seen them people are getting excited about them. I think one design like this is the way forward for the future especially with tight budgets when you want to get the sponsors on board.”
Around the dock the activity is continuous, a snapshot this Friday morning reveals:
François Morvan crewmember from Race For Water: “We are hoisting the sails for making the tuning and setting marks.”
Philippe Rivett from Musandam-Oman Sail was maintaining the winches on board and Seb Col, helm and strategist on FONCIA explained: “I am making marks for the settings on the headsails which makes it easier for trimming, especially for at night.”
An interlude from the hard work of pre race preparations will be welcomed this Friday evening at the KRYS OCEAN RACE barbecue which is expected to see more than 200 sailors, friends and local VIP’s gather at the shipyard.