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The BBC's John Sudworth
"The flaw launched a wave of speculation"
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Wednesday, 12 April, 2000, 19:18 GMT 20:18 UK
Superyacht returns home
Team Philips
The bow broke just two weeks after launch
The giant 4m catamaran, which broke up off the Isles of Scilly last month, has arrived back at the boatyard where she was built.

The revolutionary 120ft-long Team Philips vessel sailed safely 12 miles up the River Dart to skipper Pete Goss's boatyard in Totnes, Devon.

It was from there that she was launched six weeks ago. Repairs are expected to take months.

On Wednesday night, her 135ft masts are due to be lifted ashore by two giant cranes.

The body of the stricken super-yacht is expected to be pulled out of the water by crane on Thursday.

pete goss
Pete Goss: Plans to set sail again in December
Earlier in the day, Mr Goss announced he was determined to set sail again without making any design changes.

The giant boat snapped in two just a fortnight after being launched, prompting concerns that its radical design may have been flawed.

But designer Adrian Thompson confirmed a BBC report that the fault has been traced to a failure in the bonding between different materials.

A weight-bearing carbon strip in the hull structure was not bonding correctly with its honeycomb paper core.

It is a "regrettable, but isolated problem" easily overcome through the use of conventional composite frames, said Mr Thompson.

Mr Goss said the vessel will be on the Barcelona start line on 31 December for The Race, a no-holds-barred round-the-world competition.

"We know what the problem is and we know we can get the right solution - I still feel very confident," said Goss.

While Team Philips is being repaired, one of her masts and sails will be placed in a concrete plinth on land so Goss and his five crew can practice dry-sailing the boat.

'Full confidence'

And Goss insisted that he remains very pleased with the design itself.

"The good news is that we have sailed the boat for over 1,000 miles and can say in full confidence that Adrian Thompson's radical concept has lived up to all expectations," said Goss.

Funding was now in place to fix the problem which had come as a huge "shock" to the team who had taken a particularly "diligent approach" to the revolutionary project, said Goss.

We know what the problem is and we know we can get the right solution

Pete Goss
"The fact is that we are working at the cutting edge of composite development where lessons are sometimes learned," he added.

The flaw left the two massive hulls inherently fragile.

The weakness, introduced during the baking process, runs the entire length of the 120ft vessel.

Team Philips ran into trouble off the Isles of Scilly when a 40ft section of bow broke off during sea trials in the Atlantic.

Although the craft was designed to cruise through the waves at more than 40 knots, it broke up in winds of 25 knots, only two weeks after the Queen officially named her.

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30 Mar 00 | UK
Super yacht's bow found
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