Thursday, 12 May 2011

GOR: Ross and Campbell Field's GOR Class40 Arrives in the UK

Ross, Cameron and Campbell Field's Class 40 arrives in the UK. Image copyright GOR.

by Oliver Dewar

Since announcing their entry in the double-handed, Class40 Global OceanRace 2011-12 (GOR) during the first week in April, Ross Field and his son,Campbell, have been awaiting the arrival of their Verdier Design TykerClass40 ex-Desafio Cabo de Hornos. On Tuesday, shortly before noon,following a five-week journey as deck cargo from Chile via the Panama Canaland Rotterdam, the New Zealand team’s Class40 was carefullymanoeuvred on a 60ft truck through the narrow lanes of Lymington inHampshire on Britain’s South Coast.

Other than the faded red livery – the striking trademark of theyacht’s Chilean team in the 2008-09 GOR – and battle scars tothe leading edge of the keel fin, the three year-old Class40 shows littleevidence of an immensely tough first circumnavigation. Furthermore, theteam has a new carbon mast – built as a spare when the boat waslaunched in 2008, but never used – and a wardrobe of unused sails inaddition to the brand new suit recently delivered by North Sails.

Ross and Campbell Field's GOR Class40 in Lymington. Image copyright GOR.

However, with a busy training schedule planned, the duo require a tight turnaround with a thorough refit and respray at the Berthon Boatyard beforethe yacht’s re-launch and mandatory 180 degree inversion test. As soon as the Field’s Class40 was lowered on to blocks and plastic sheeting in an open-ended shed at the yard’s northern extremity, Ross and Campbell Field, with Ross’s nephew, Cameron, and an apprentice from the yard began emptying assorted sails, lines, cushions and equipmentfrom the yacht’s interior. “We fully expect to be sailing in three weeks,” confirmed Ross, loading the valise life raft into aboat yard trolley. There is a definite sense of urgency and immense purpose behind the project: “We’re going to strip out the interior; take the winches and rope bags off and then get busy sanding,” he continues. The team expect to have the boat resprayed in the space of one week.

For Ross Field, the task of refitting is made easier by the yacht’s location: “I know this place well and really like it here,” confirms the serial circumnavigator and veteran of three consecutive Whitbread Round the World Races. “Berthon provide a good service, have great facilities and are a very sympathetic yard,” he continues. “I’m certain we’ll have the boat launched on time.” During the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race, Campbell was Shore Manager for the Telefónica team - an enormously complex and responsible position that included overseeing the build of the campaign’s two Volvo Ocean 70 race yachts – and he sees no logistic setbacks in the rapid refit of the Class40: “We’ve got a team of five people working on the boat and I’m confident we’ll keep on schedule,” he predicts.

Global Ocean Race