Ill-fated catamaran 'ready to sail' again

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The Independent Online

The ocean yacht racer Pete Goss said yesterday that his £4m state-of-the-art catamaran will soon be ready for sea trials after its embarrassing setback earlier this year.

The ocean yacht racer Pete Goss said yesterday that his £4m state-of-the-art catamaran will soon be ready for sea trials after its embarrassing setback earlier this year.

The crew's hopes of winning the round-the-world race starting on 31 December fell sharply when part of the hull of the Team Philips catamaran snapped off during trials.

The carbon-fibre craft, supposedly designed to withstand the storms of the Southern Ocean, lost a 40-foot section of the port bow on 29 March while sailing off the Isles of Scilly, only a fortnight after she had been named by the Queen.

Goss, a former Royal Marine who achieved fame when he turned back to rescue a fellow competitor during the 1996-1997 single-handed Vendee Globe race, vowed to have the catamaran back in shape for the round-the-world event, called The Race, starting from Barcelona on New Year's Eve.

Yesterday he announced that repairs were complete and the 120ft boat would be lowered into the water at Totnes, south Devon, on 23 September. Her twin 135ft masts will be put up the next day.

Goss, 38, said: "This is the moment we have been waiting four months for. We can't wait to get her out sailing again and show what she can really do. She is a very special boat. We are confident in her ability, and as a team are focused on getting out there to win The Race."

The Team Philips craft and her six crew will then sail across the Atlantic to New York, before travelling to Monaco for the prologue to The Race on 30 November.

She will then sail to Barcelona on 9 December and remain there until the main event gets under way on New Year's Eve.

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