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A joint development between Alex Thomson Racing and Caterham Composites has assisted Alex Thomson in competing in the Vendée Globe 2012.
Caterham Composites say it provided engineering assistance in structural lightweight solutions to decrease weight and increase safety and reliability simultaneously of parts that were most likely to suffer damage like the rudder and boom.
According to Caterham Composites, during the Vendée Globe the skippers encountered extreme storms, giant waves and the ever-present danger of floating objects in the water. Any of these can cause damage and end the race immediately. In addition to these risks, the lack of engineers, designers, and mechanics meant everything had to be done entirely by one single person, Alex himself. However, as soon as Alex experienced some difficulties his team and Caterham Composites were available to come up with an efficient, quick and safe solution to guarantee finishing the race and his safety.
Caterham Composites believe that to provide any effective solutions, the key was to get a clear communication path between Alex, the team and Caterham Composites. A good example of this was the repair to the hydrogenerator bracket, which broke after it hit an unknown floating object. Due to the power restrictions that resulted from the impact, photos were limited so they had to rely on descriptions from Alex who, by this point, had been racing for 6 weeks with minimal sleep. Despite this Caterham say they were confident that only the top bracket had been damaged and this is where they focussed their attention.
Alex Thomson finished 3rd in the race on 30th January 2013.
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