Thursday 28 June 2012
New boats for the next two Volvo races
The new one-design will be designed by the US Farr Yacht Design office
After nearly every boat in this Volvo Race suffered hull and rig damage that, in some cases, ruined the team’s chances of victory, race organisers say the next two races will use a new, one-design boat.
The plans were unveiled by race CEO Knut Frostad in Lorient this morning, 28 June, for a boat that will significantly reduce the cost of entering the race and boost the size of the fleet to 8-10 boats.
The 65ft monohull racing yacht will be strictly one-design. It will be designed by the United States-based Farr Yacht Design and constructed by a consortium of leading boatyards in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Switzerland. A minimum of eight boats will be built to contest the next two races.
Work will begin in July and the first of the boats will be completed by June 2013, well over a year before the start of the next Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante, Spain, in the second half of 2014.
The new boats will be almost as fast as the current Volvo Open 70s and will be designed and built with the latest video, satellite and content production facilities to enhance the work being done in the successful Media Crew Member programme.
The agreement announced in Lorient was made possible after Volvo Ocean Race S.L.U. secured financing that will underpin the process of designing and building the boats according to schedule. The Volvo Ocean Race is owned by Volvo Car Corporation and The Volvo Group, which together reaffirmed their open ended commitment to the race at a news conference ahead of the current race.
The “ready to sail” cost of the boats, including sails for the pre-race period and the race itself, will be around €4.5m, while further significant cost savings will be made possible by the pooling of resources. Mr Frostad thought a competitive campaign could be mounted for less than €15m.