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Thread: 2017 - 2018 Volvo Ocean Race

  1. #1
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    2017 - 2018 Volvo Ocean Race

    The start of the 2017-18 edition is still over a year away – but at the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard facility in Lisbon, Portugal, our team of boat building experts is already working against the clock.

    How do you prepare a boat to race three times more Southern Ocean miles than in recent editions? Well, it starts with an unprecedented and unique refit process, which will see all seven Volvo Ocean 65s undergo a complete overhaul.

    "To say we're on a challenging schedule is an understatement," says Sam Bourne, Head of the Boatyard's Deck Gear Division.
    "We have seven boats to upgrade between now and next summer. Every three weeks a boat will come in, and from January 2017, we'll start to push the boats out and hand over to the teams. There's not a moment to waste."

    The first boat has already been lifted out of the water – and it's now a race against the clock for the Boatyard team as they work through a stringent re-fit process, based around reliability, to ensure that they can race another 45,000 miles around the planet.

    “The boats ended the last race in fantastic condition,” said Nick Bice, Director of Boats and Maintenance.
    “When a boat comes out of this re-fit process it will look brand new, with a new paint job. You won’t be able to tell they’ve ever been in the water, never mind raced and trained over 60,000-70,000 miles through the toughest conditions on earth.”
    Work on each will take around 15 weeks, but the process will be staggered to allow a new boat to enter the facility every three weeks.
    It is the first time in the history of the race that a one-design re-fit process has been undertaken. It will be completed in June 2017 – four months before the start of the next edition in October 2017.

    Bice adds: “We’re making some changes across the boats using our learnings from last edition to ensure that they’re even more reliable than before – and we’re also modifying the sail inventory, combined with several other upgrades all taking safety, reliability and technological advancement in to account.”
    The Boatyard facility, which opened in May, is a pre-race training hub for the teams, allowing them to access Atlantic Ocean conditions. The maintenance centre based at Race HQ in Alicante continues to be available for teams as a Mediterranean training and support base.

    all photos © Amalia Infante/Volvo Ocean Race

    Bice continues: “The building we’re using to house the Boatyard is an old fish market. If you were to design and build a facility to undertake these upgrades to the boats, you wouldn’t be able to design it better than what’s already here in the docks in Lisbon.
    “The training options are almost limitless. You can go up around the corner, around Cascais and be virtually guaranteed wind at any stage. Equally, you could train in the Tagus River to practise in light air scenarios.”

    The maintenance centre based at Race HQ in Alicante will continue to be available for teams as a Mediterranean training and support base.
    Last edited by Photoboy; 03-06-2017 at 12:16 PM.
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  2. #2
    Looks like they could use a few more teams!

  3. #3
    You would think there would be a waiting list.................

  4. #4
    Maybe Kanye West could sponsor a boat, I understand his fashion line is killing it.

  5. #5
    Kim needs more jewelry, not another boat.

  6. #6
    What's the cost to campaign one of those boats for a cycle?

  7. #7
    Found this:

    Lots of euros, but less euros than previous editions!

  8. #8
    Interesting that prices are down and entries are scarce.

    Thought the recession was over.

  9. #9
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Women Wanted

    Volvo Ocean Race changes rules to maintain growth in top level female participation

    In the first of a series of ten announcements that the Volvo Ocean Race will make over the next two weeks, the rules of the race will limit all-male teams to seven sailors, one fewer than in 2014-15, and give mixed teams a significant numerical advantage:

    – All-male teams still permitted, but adding the world’s best female sailors is incentivised
    – Different crew combinations possible on different legs, giving skippers room to follow various selection strategies according to the expected weather conditions
    - Under-30 rule fine-tuned to squeeze age of ‘youth’ sailors down further

    ALICANTE, Spain – The Volvo Ocean Race is making a major rule change to give world-class female sailors a much clearer pathway to compete at the highest level of offshore sailing in the 2017-18 edition.

    In the first of a series of ten announcements that the Volvo Ocean Race will make over the next two weeks, the rules of the race will limit all-male teams to seven sailors, one fewer than in 2014-15, and give mixed teams a significant numerical advantage.

    The possible crew combinations for 2017-18 will be:

    7 men;

    7 men and 1 or 2 women;

    7 women and 1 or 2 men;

    5 men and 5 women;

    11 women

    Teams will be able to change their crew combinations from leg to leg in the race, which starts from Alicante in October 2017 and visits 11 cities around the globe, but as in previous editions, teams will be required have the same crewmembers on board for the In-Port Race as either the previous or the subsequent offshore leg – with the exception of a team that is racing offshore with 7 males who can add an additional female for the in-port racing.

    Ian Walker, Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 winning skipper, and Olympic silver medallist, commented: "If female offshore sailors ever want to compete at the same level as the best in the world then they need to train and race with the best.

    “It would be very hard to compete with only seven people on a Volvo Ocean 65 against teams of eight or nine. This new rule will almost certainly force teams to hire women and that will create a great platform for learning."

    The move follows the success of Team SCA’s 2014-15 campaign, which saw an all-female crew finish third in the In-Port Race series and become the first to win an offshore leg in 25 years – but still saw a ceiling in their offshore performance overall without being able to learn from the more experienced sailors once out on the ocean.

    “This is not about lowering the standard as some in the sport will suggest – the reverse – it is giving more opportunity to the very best female sailors in the world to compete on equal terms," said Mark Turner, Volvo Ocean Race CEO, who masterminded Briton Dame Ellen MacArthur’s successful Vendée Globe race in 2001, where she finished second.

    "Sailing is one of the few sports where you can have mixed teams, and we want to take advantage of that, and also reflect the growing desire for greater diversity in businesses – in particular the kind who back the race teams today.

    “The Team SCA project in the last race did a great job to restart female participation, after 12 years with just one sailor getting a slot [Adrienne Cahalan, Brasil 1, Leg 1 2005-06]. We’re determined to build on that momentum, and we want to guarantee that the Volvo Ocean Race continues to have the very best sailors competing in the race – both male and female.”

    He continued: “We’re using the crew rules to incentivise skippers to bring one or more female sailors onboard. I really hope that it’s not necessary to have any rule at all in the future – but it seems it’s the only way today to ensure we can maintain progress.”

    The race, which celebrated its 43-year anniversary last month, has a long history of female sailors, with over 100 women having competed since its inception in 1973, compared with over 2000 men.

    “We’re determined to maintain our female presence in the Race – the proportion of women in sailing is growing all the time, and we think that it’s important that, as sailing’s leading offshore property, we maintain a representative demographic,” explained Race Director, Phil Lawrence.

    And news of the move has already attracted a positive reaction from many female sailors.

    "This is fantastic news for elite female athletes not just in sailing, but in sport as a whole,” said Dee Caffari MBE, who raced onboard Team SCA in 2014-15 and, in 2006, became the first female to sail solo and non-stop the ‘wrong way’ around the world.

    “It was important to make a big impact with an all-female team last edition in order to change the perception of women in sailing, and we showed that we could compete on the same boats, in the same conditions.”

    She added: “I’m excited to see the concept of mixed teams evolve. I do believe that there are enough female sailors out there who can step up and prove that they can perform, deliver and earn a place onboard.”

    The race has also reaffirmed the commitment to youth sailing, with a rule that two crew must be under the age of 30 at the end of the race in July 2018.
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  10. #10
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    Adding To The Fleet

    Eighth boat under construction for Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18

    In the third of 10 announcements over 10 days, Volvo Ocean Race has confirmed that, in an unexpected boost to the next edition of the race, an eighth boat is being built at Persico Marine, Italy

    As a One Design class, it will of course be identical to the existing fleet of seven Volvo Ocean 65s in every way, and will be launched in May next year, five months before the start of the next edition. The team behind this new build will be announced early in 2017.

    "It’s exciting to welcome an addition to the fleet ahead of the next edition, as this was not necessarily expected,” said Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s Director of Boats and Maintenance. “We now have a real prospect of starting the next race with more boats than in the last edition."

    He added: "There will be absolutely no advantage in terms of physical performance or reliability. The new boat will be identical to the existing fleet in every respect.

    "All of the Volvo Ocean 65s were built with at least two editions in mind, possibly even a third – and the seven that finished the 2014-15 edition are still in fantastic condition."

    Persico Marine is the lead contractor for the new boat, and will use the same moulds, materials and process of building the original fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s. After completion, the boat will be delivered to the Boatyard facility in Lisbon, where it will undergo rigorous measurement tests.

    "When it comes to measuring, we run a fully transparent process. Anyone from any team can come and witness the boats being measured in our refit facility in Lisbon, to ensure they fit the bill," said Bice.

    "Our tests on the existing boats have shown they have not lost any of their rigidity or performance, so whilst the team building a new boat will have ‘no excuses’ from a mental perspective perhaps, there will be no real advantage in physical terms."

    An extensive refit process is currently underway on the original Volvo Ocean 65s. That process is designed to ensure that the components make another 45,000 nautical miles around the world, but also includes significant upgrades in communication equipment, safety, energy generation, and performance electronics as well as new designs of sails which will level the playing field again to some extent.

    The Volvo Ocean Race starts from Alicante in October 2017 and finishes in The Hague over eight months later, taking in a total of 11 landmark cities.

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