THE RIGGER'S STORY
Frano Tregaskis, Team Sanya Rigger, tells the story....
TEAM SANYA : A RIGGER’S STORY : FRANO TREGASKIS
3RD JAN 2012
Here’s the story from Frano Tregaskis, Team Sanya Rigger
As everyone knows by now it’s been a pretty hectic time for Team Sanya in recent weeks. We’ve been spread worldwide with different tasks to perform and this is my attempt to tell my part of the story.
From the outset I was rudely awoken with the news in the quiet town of Langebaan just north of Cape Town where I had chosen to spend some time attempting to kit board with a few friends. Nice Bice informed me that both he and I would be flying to Madagascar to meet the boat and I then knew we would have ‘a bit on’!. The ironic thing (and also the first thought that came into my head) was that I had originally planned to spend time in Madagascar kiteboarding but had given up on the idea purely because I thought it would be just too hard….
A plan was formulated; pull the rig out in Madagascar, remove the spreaders and fly them to Valencia for modifications. Then fly them back with a few hundred thousand dollars of pre-preg uni-directional carbon fibre (on ice to prevent curing in transit), strap all that to the squared and pre-bent section, stick a couple of tonnes of pressure on and wire the whole lot to the mains and cook it off….and hey presto, 36 hours later we’ll have some new standing rigging, mast back in the boat, sea trials , load the Sanya Lan and the guys will then race her to the safe haven port to complete Leg Two Stage One. It all doesn’t sound too taxing when squeezed into one paragraph!!
So 24 hours later, Bicey and I found ourselves in Antanarivo (main airport in Madagascar), boarding our final flight to Fort Dauphin, after another few hours and a quick stop in some other place, we finally arrived! We got into a ‘sort of’ taxi, had a 10 minute port induction and finally met up with our 11 shipwrecked sailors! Spirits seemed amazingly high considering what they had been through and even a few grins came out to meet our familiar faces.
The next mission was to pull the rig out of the boat and to find a machine capable of doing this task! Amazing enough we found one and the next morning a portable crane plucked the mast and swung, with about 300mm to spare!!, it over the dock and onto Jared Henderson’s custom built mast frames and we started dismantling.
Three hours later I was back in the airport catching the once a day Fort Dauphin to Antanarivo flight with 6 spreaders under my arm. My plan was to get these back to the manufacturer, Future Fibres, based in Valencia. Only 3 flights to catch through 3 countries with some oversized luggage one day before Christmas Eve – what could possibly go wrong?!! Also going through Charles De Gaulle airport – Anyone who has ever taken a flight through this airport knows its reputation of being a bit of a lost and found depot – mostly lost and not found!!
Sure enough as I arrived in Valencia, and as the last bag circled the carousel for the 2nd time, my premonition was confirmed, let down at the final hurdle!! Fortunately for Team Sanya, the Future Fibres ladies know what they want and are very good at getting it so 6 hours later the spreaders arrived safely in Valencia.
Christmas Eve in Future Fibres and all the usual suspects showed their faces for the 6 day onslaught of work. This latest drama attracted all the right guys – we had Mikey_9 (Robb), Marco Turmoil, machining by G(Brett D) and Team Sanya’s very own mast maker Matt Saker.
The lads set to work cutting off the outboard tip of each spreader while G carefully milled the ends ready to receive the new fork tips. Christmas Day arrived and the factory felt colder than ever, just at the time everyone started thinking about how families and friends would be sitting down to their biggest meal of the year, Tom Hutchinson (founder of Future Fibres) waltzed through the door with a large box containing a Turkey with all the trimmings. It’s always good to see a Senior member of a company with enough sense to look after the guys on the shop floor, after all, it is in their best interests to keep these guys on their side especially given the time of year.
Seven days on from touching down in Europe with all modifications complete, we’re back in Madagascar now. We have the six spreaders, a couple of boxes of cold carbon (the new standing rigging) and various other boat/mast building materials and Gio Mascetti with his team of guys. For sure It is proving to be a bit of a struggle as we are not in the ideal conditions, but the scenery is quite amazing and after all, “you can only work with the tools you’ve got!”
Looking forward to seeing the good ship Sanya Lan set off from Fort Dauphin in a few days time and getting racing again. Never a dull moment in this campaign, that’s for sure!Frano Out