The next edition of the iconic Volvo Ocean Race is in hardcore-preparation mode as the staff at The Boatyard begin to put the seven Volvo Ocean 65s through the refit phase.
Thanks to The Boatyard: Life behind the sails Facebook page, we’ve been given an impressive tour of the new refit facilities in Lisbon, Portugal and who better to show us how it all works than Australia’s very own Nick Bice, Head of the Boatyard.
This video goes to show the work that goes on behind the scenes in preparation for this iconic race, which is representative of the hard work we see many people do behind the scenes in this sport. It’s great to see the hard-working engine room of such an event get an opportunity to show their skills to the world.
Check out the video below…
In the video, Bice said Lisbon was an ideal venue to kick off the next edition of the race and the refit facility, a former fish factory, seemed to be purpose-built for The Boatyard’s work.
“The training grounds that we’re on here in Lisbon is fantastic,” he said.
“They’ve got the option to go offshore straight out into the Atlantic, or up in to the Bay of Biscay.
“Or the bay of certain death they call it at certain times,” Bice joked.
Bice is one of Australia’s greatest sailing exports, having competed in the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race as both sailor and shore crew and now heading up one of the most important maintenance programs the sport has to offer.
He was featured in the inaugural Down Under Sail Yearbook, which launched in June this year and can be purchased through our online shop. For those of you that are keen to get a copy overseas, contact us directly via email at [email protected] to work out how we can get a copy to you.
The production line-style building sees the boats make their way through several bays, where thousands of parts are removed before the boats are sanded back, weighed, re-painted and re-fitted ahead of masts going in and undergoing sea trials.
“Our biggest thing that we’re up against here is ensuring our schedules are on track, ensuring that we have the right people, we have the right time,” Bice said.
“Because if there’s one little thing that falls over it trips the whole process up and that’s what we can’t afford to do.
“We love our home here in Lisbon, very thankful for the opportunity we’ve got here and we’ve got a pretty epic effort on our hands.”