For the first time, the maintenance facility was a shared one – fully stocked with all the parts, equipment and knowledge required to get everyone back into perfect race condition at each and every stopover.
Another innovation was to open it to the public, with viewing platforms that allowed fans the opportunity to see first-hand the specialist work done in this 1200 m2 facility – from the sails being scrutinised and maintained to the rigs being dismantled, checked and rebuilt.
The Boatyard in action provides a unique insight into the complexity and nature of the race machines and the race. It’s here that the spectator can see the pounding that these boats take, and not just from the big waves and winds of the Southern Ocean.
At the end of almost every leg, the boats go through a significant maintenance programme. All the mechanical parts will need a full check and service, the winches are stripped and rebuilt, rudder and keel mechanisms are dismantled and checked... the list goes on, with hundreds of hours of work involved in getting each boat prepared for each restart. And that’s assuming that there is nothing broken or damaged that needs to be replaced or repaired.
Whatever the race throws at these boats, The Boatyard can fix it.