First pics of repaired boat after 138mph crash
Chris Parsonge’s rebuilt Class 1 boat is ready to race, after he and driver James Sheppard almost demolished the craft in a 138mph crash just three months ago.
And the Plymouth businessman promises the team will WIN at the final 2006 races in Dubai after his backroom King of Shaves team worked flat out to get the boat back on the water.
Chris told MBY today: “The boat is looking fantastic. The boys have done a really good job.
“We were all very disappointed. The boys were a bit disillusioned. I said: ‘Let’s get together and just get to Dubai’.
“We’re going to win there. We know we’re out of the championship, but we’re going to get some silverware.”
A series of unlucky set-backs has seen King of Shaves narrowly miss podium places after promising performances early on.
“It’s been an up and downer of a season. If we’d completed what we should have done we’d be right up in the championship.”
Looking back on the crash, which left thousands of home supporters open-mouthed in shock as King of Shaves overturned violently on a rival boat’s wake, Chris says: “It was just unfortunate circumstances. We were pushing hard because it was our home grand prix and we wanted to win. We were the fastest boat there. If you’re not pushing hard you’re not going to win.”
Despite the horrific accident, he denies it has put him off: “That’s racing. You jump back in.”
And he revealed sponsors King of Shaves have supported the team throughout the rebuild and are looking at continuing their support next season.
Chris said: “A lot of the other teams wondered if we’d been in Dubai. But now the boat is in Italy to be shipped over there and the boys from the other teams cannot believe how great it looks.
“It goes to show, there’s no such word as can’t.”
Describing the rebuild, he said: “Work started immediately and once the boat had been completely stripped of all the mechanical and water damaged parts, electrics and engines she was given a full inspection. The main structure was in good condition which meant that the repairs to the hull, side and deck were just about achievable in the time. After she had been completely de-rigged the carbon guys moved in, decided what was salvageable and what would need rebuilding. The deck needed to be completely removed and rebuilt and some of the bulkheads needed to be re crafted and the damaged sides cut back for repair.”
Luckily for Chris and his team, one of the rival Victory boats – an identical boat to KOS – was being stored at their workshop and Victory’s general manager Gianfranco Venturelli agreed for measurements and profiles to be taken from it.
“This saved us a lot of time,” said Chris. “Moulds were made and work began on making the parts to replace the damaged sides. A new deck was constructed on the factory floor next to the boat and all the cracks and small areas of damage were filled and fixed. And once the new deck and sides were fitted work started on the engine bay detail and the hatch rebuilds.”
The team then spent weeks fairing and prepping the boat which involved the time consuming task of filing, priming and rubbing it down ready for painting. Once painting was finished this allowed the engineering team to physically get onto the boat and start re-rigging her.
“The rebuild has been an overwhelming success,” said Chris. “Due to the timescale and work involved there really was no margin for error. My team and the guys who did all the carbon work really pulled together and due to all their expertise and hard work, the boat is ready for shipping right on schedule.”