The Open 60 ‘Draft’ is underway with personnel changing teams as the last competitors finish the Vendee Globe. Harry McGougan, who has worked alongside Alex Thomson for the past two editions of the Vendee Globe has announced that he will switch to Mike Golding’s Ecover team.
“It is a bit like football, and you transfer between teams at the end of a Vendee Globe cycle. Mike is the ‘godfather’ of the Open 60 class and I have a lot of respect for what he has done and what he has achieved. It will be a very good opportunity for me in terms of learning more about the boats and it remains one of my biggest goals to work on a successful Vendee Globe Project. As shore crew, it is the biggest preparation job around.”
Harry has spent the past eight years managing teams of people across various projects including the Swan 56, Noonmark VI and Magical. Before that he worked on super yachts and ran a specialist lighting company for outdoor events.
“ECOVER 3 is now at Endeavour Quays in Gosport where she will go into the shed for a minor refit and to repair the damage from the dismasting. It is nothing dramatic, but we will do a few small modifications/improvements and give her a new paint job before we go back in the water,”
Harry will have a small team working with him including Tim Carrie (Preparatuer), Rob Dudden (Boat Builder) and Iain Henderson.
“Our aim is to do the most efficient job possible to get the boat up and sailing again. The replacement mast, which is currently stored at JMV in Cherbourg will arrive here in Gosport on the 5th March. This spare mast is brand new and untried therefore Southern Spars will do a formal handover and together with Blew Stoub our rigger, we will get everything up and running quite quickly”
“Meanwhile ECOVER 3’s carbon keel has just arrived at JMV, it is currently being surveyed as whilst in the event, it did not actually fail, there are cracks appearing on the keel head which need to be explored fully. It is not the carbon blade that is in question but rather how the head/rams are attached to that blade so we are waiting to get engineers, designers and builders to help us to decide upon the best course of action,” he concluded.
On completion of the work the yacht will be launched and fully sail tested to ensure that both rig, keel and modifications are all in order. Currently no decisions have been made about the sailing/racing program going forward.