Four Clipper 70s have now completed the post race refit after clocking up an average of 50,000 miles during their inaugural circumnavigation.

OneDLL, Henri Lloyd, Qingdao and Mission Performance have now been put through the rigorous refit undertaken by the Maintenance Team at Race HQ.

Switzerland and Invest Africa will be the next two yachts to go through the process, which takes approximately five weeks to complete.

Each of the 70-foot yachts will be motored from Race HQ in Gosport to Hamble Yacht Services where they will be lifted and refitted. The yachts are stripped of their inventory and soft furnishings, which go off for cleaning prior to departing Gosport, and their engines and generators are serviced.

On arrival in Hamble, the masts are removed and all of the standing rigging is replaced. Once washed off and in the shed, there is a complete sand and repaint throughout the interior and a varnishing of the wood surrounds in the galley. On deck, all of the kit is serviced or replaced as needed. Rudders are dropped in order to check the shafts and blades and to allow access to service the rudder bearings; the full steering system is given an overhaul. The hulls are antifouled, propellers serviced and anodes changed.

As with all refits, there will also be some changes to the yachts in accordance to lessons learnt from the past race. New parts will be fitted in various places around the yacht and a little reorganisation made here and there in order to make life easier for the crew, and from a maintenance perspective.

After four to five weeks, the yachts are then launched off and returned to Gosport for re-commissioning. Final defects are rectified, the inventory and safety kit are reinstated, final checks are made and the paperwork is reinstated. Lastly the rig is retuned before the yachts return to service and crew training continues.

The refit period will last nine months, with each yacht out of action for eight to nine weeks in total, before being declared fit and ready to be called home for the next generation of ocean racers.