Earthrace is currently undergoing engine repairs in Koror, however the damage has been more extensive than originally anticipated.
Earthrace Captain, Pete Bethune, says on removing the head, one of the exhaust valves was found to have a 0.19 in x 0.19 in square chip missing from one side, with no suggestion as to what might have caused the failure.
Of greater concern is damage to the piston. The top surface has metal shards from the valve embedded in it, and a section has melted away exposing the top compression ring. The bore is also scoured from metal fragments passing up and down with the piston. Earthrace Engineer Scott Fratcher says only another minute or two of running and the engine would have blown up, so they are grateful things were shut down when they were.
Crew have now dropped the sump and removed the number one piston from below, a job made extremely difficult with the tight confines around and under the engines. The cylinder sleeve has also been removed, and crew is now waiting on spare parts to arrive. Some of these are thought to be in Guam, and the team is hopeful of having these in Koror this evening, at which time they’ll continue with repairs.
Bethune says the recent setbacks have really gutted the crew, but they are just focusing on getting Earthrace back up and running as quickly as possible.