New Volvo boat design is part of radical shake-up of race to be announced 18 May, in Volvo’s home town of Gothenburg, Sweden.
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Race organisers have announced that the edition after this one, the 14th, will be contested in brand new One Design racing yachts designed by France’s Guillaume Verdier and built under the direction of the Persico boatyard in Italy.
Verdier has joined the Volvo Ocean Race Design Team and is currently working with the race on the crucial issue of whether the new boat will be a monohull or multihull.
The monohull-multihull question is just one of a series of key decisions that will be finalised in the coming weeks and announced at the 18 May event in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Together, the announcements will form the most radical shake-up of the Volvo Ocean Race since it began life in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race.
“Conceived in 2011, the current fleet of boats was built to be competitive for two editions,” said Volvo Ocean Race CEO Mark Turner. “We need to move now on the future boats to keep all our options open on boat type and design.
The decision to continue with a One Design concept follows the introduction of the Volvo Ocean 65 monohull for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, which produced the closest racing in the history of the event.
The upcoming edition, starting on 22 October 2017 in Alicante, will use the same Volvo Ocean 65 boats that have since undergone a one million euro per boat refit process in the race’s Boatyard facility in Lisbon.
These boats were designed to be fast enough and reliable enough to complete at least two laps of the planet at the highest level of professional racing, in a fully competitive and equal state.
The fleet of seven existing boats from 2014-15 will be supplemented by a brand new but still identical Volvo Ocean 65, commissioned by team AkzoNobel, for the 2017-18 race.
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6 April 2017 17:52 GMT