Burn­ing the Oil

Sailing World - - Starting Line -

The shed buzzed with tools and bod­ies overnight. The nor­mal post-race rou­tines were much the same, just in­ten­si­fied ten­fold. The mon­u­men­tal task of manag­ing the re­pair fell to head boat­builder Sean Re­gan, chief of del­e­ga­tion. Struc­tural en­gi­neers tested the hulls and wing for in­tegrity, be­cause dam­age you can’t see is the worst kind. Hy­draulic and elec­tri­cal teams ex­am­ined their re­spec­tive ar­eas, to the ex­tent they could, while the boat was idle in its cra­dle. The wing team dis­as­sem­bled the tat­tered wing while boat­builders swarmed over the fair­ings to see what could be re­built or sal­vaged. The sailors who were less skilled at boat­build­ing picked up trash and swept the floors all night, and of­fered spare hands and mus­cle where needed. Most of the de­sign­ers grabbed hair dry­ers and held fans to ac­cel­er­ate the dry­ing process. When not mak­ing food to fuel the team, the kitchen crew was among the car­nage, tak­ing or­ders with the rest of the team. Ad­min­is­tra­tive staffers served cof­fee and boosted morale un­til sun up. Ev­ery­one was in­volved and no­body went home un­til all that was left to do was wait for first re­pairs to cure and the boat to dry.

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