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Volvo Ocean 65s get new Hydropower Units

The Volvo Ocean Race is installing a new hydro-generator to act as a back-up power source to the Volvo Penta engine on each of the Volvo Ocean 65 racing yachts.

All eight boats – the seven from the last edition, plus the new boat being built at Persico Marine in Italy – will feature the unit, which can already provide enough power to run the essential onboard systems in the event of mechanical failure.

Depending on the results of continued pre-race testing, its use could be mandatory at times during the 2017-18 edition.

This would be in order to provide results during real-world race conditions and begin to reduce the amount of fuel used by the boats for their electronic systems.

One boat has already been installed with the unit for testing, and the results have been significant.

Liz Wardley, a two-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran who recently completed a delivery of one of the Volvo Ocean 65s, explained:

“We’ve sailed about 3,500 miles with the hydro-generator on the back of the boat and during that time we didn’t have to turn on the engine."

"That’s saying a lot, as normally, we’d run the engine for an hour to an hour-and-a-half every day."

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