VSail.info: I heard from one source that the wing broke in three-four pieces. Is that correct?
Paul Cayard: That's not accurate, the wing is broken in one place. It's not broken in three-four pieces
. We salvaged 100% of it and as I said, it was quite fortunate, the wing didn't even go on the water, it landed all on the boat. So, we just hooked up the bow tow and towed back to the dock.
VSail.info: What were the boat and crew doing in the precise moment of the incident? Were they maneuvering when the wing came crashing down?
Paul Cayard: No, they were just reaching along, steady state, it was not in the middle of a tack or gybe.
VSail.info: I suppose you are currently investigating what caused the failure and the breakage.
Paul Cayard: Yes, we are doing our investigation to learn from this, to learn why it broke. Our investigation is both internal and external. We had two external consultants come and do various tests, basically a forensic study of what happened. Obviously, whenever you have something like that happen there was a series of minor failures and then a large failure. It wasn't a rigging failure or anything like that, the structure itself failed
We are investigating so that we can learn. We are right at the outset of building our second wing right now, which is about to get going. Fortunately, we hadn't started that and we will be able to incorporate what we are learning now, not only from that incident but we have been sailing since March 15th with the wing. We have been fortunate to learn a lot of things about the wing which we will incorporate into our second wing.
VSail.info: Is the second wing, similarly to the first one, being built at Future Fibres?
Paul Cayard: I can't comment on that. I can't tell you what is going on exactly with that. As I said, we are learning from the first wing and, of course, we have to repair it to get sailing again
. It is fair to say it is a major damage and we will not be sailing our AC72, as planned, on July 1st, unfortunately
. We were all set to do that and this is a bit of a setback but, hopefully, in September or October we will be able to get sailing with our AC72 yacht.
VSail.info: So, if I understand well, your initial assessment, at least right now, is that you will be able to repair the broken wing.
Paul Cayard: Yes, we absolutely have to. We are only allowed to have three wings, so we have to repair it and keep it as part of our inventory. We are right now deciding exactly what the methodology is going to be but are going to repair it as fast as we can. I'm pretty sure the AC72 will first sail with Wing 1 because it will take longer to build Wing 2. We hope to sail maybe around October with the AC72