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Thread: 2017 - 2018 Volvo Ocean Race

  1. #61
    Las Vegas has Mapfre at even money to win this edition!

  2. #62
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    Leg Zero: four stages to test the 2017-18 fleet, and pre-race qualifying series for the boats and sailors. Here's a look at how it happened.
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  3. #63
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    New Volvo Boat Design Underway





    Exclusive first look at the next Volvo Ocean Race boat design

    Work is well underway on the racing machines of the future – and here's a sneak peek at the Guillaume Verdier's exciting 60-ft foiling monohull concept
    August 22, 2017
    08:34 UTC
    Text by Mark Chisnell
    Just over three months ago, on 18 May 2017, Volvo Ocean Race CEO Mark Turner stood on a stage in the Volvo Museum in Gothenburg and announced that the question of whether the future of the race was monohull or multihull had been solved.

    In fact, the Volvo Ocean Race had opted for both – and would design and build a one-design foil-assisted 60-foot (18.29 metre) monohull for the ocean legs, and a one-design 32-50 foot foiling catamaran (10-15 metre) for use inshore at the stopovers.

    Now, with the 2017-18 edition already apace following a thrilling Leg Zero, work on the two new boats has been moving very fast in the background.

    This week, the first mock up of the Guillaume Verdier-designed offshore monohull was revealed at the Boatyard in Lisbon – and it looks incredible.




    © Brian Carlin/Volvo Ocean Race
    “We contacted several designers and asked them to submit their ideas for both a complete stand-alone Volvo Ocean Race boat, or with the potential to convert to an IMOCA boat,” said Bice.

    “All the designers that we invited to present were very strong, it wasn’t clear cut – we had some pretty serious soul-searching to decide what we wanted to do. I went to New Zealand and spent a day with Guillaume to get to know him, and we decided he was our man.”

    Verdier recently came to prominence as a designer for the foiling 2016 Vendée Globe boats, and for the 36th America’s Cup winners, Emirates Team New Zealand.

    “We’ve created the Volvo Ocean Race Design Team as a collaboration, getting the best input from everywhere,” said Bice. “It’s going to be a very cool boat; imagine coming into the finish, in a harbour in 20 knots of breeze and you are going to see this thing fully airborne, foiling, at 35 to 40 knots.”

    Verdier has now gathered his team around him, and they have been working hard on the hull lines. The design has developed in a way that will enable IMOCA 60 compatibility, making it convertible, relatively quickly and inexpensively, to a short-handed rules-compliant IMOCA boat for events like the solo Vendée Globe and two-up Barcelona World Race.

    “We don’t think there is any compromise to making a stand-alone Volvo Ocean Race boat comply with the IMOCA 60 rules. Although in Volvo mode, we will have another keel, we will have different rudders, foils, we will have a different rig on it,” said Bice.



    © Brian Carlin/Volvo Ocean Race
    “So now, with the new two-year race cycle, a team can compete in an IMOCA event in between, maintaining profile for a sponsor and making it much easier for them to commit to two cycles of the Volvo Ocean Race. That’s what we want to try and achieve.

    “We are on a critical path with the plan that the eighth boat has to be launched by June 2019, that’s the bookend of the whole project. Working all the way back from that, we need to start machining the moulds in September. Then we need to start laminating the first boat at the end of February, early March next year.

    “Persico will be the lead contractor, it’s about 40,000 hours per boat but we want to try and eliminate the need for transportation, so they will definitely do the hull and deck, put the composite shell together. Then it gets delivered to The Boatyard in Lisbon, and we will do the painting and the fit out. It’s very similar to what we did with AkzoNobel, the latest Volvo Ocean 65 built for this race.”

    This is where Neil Cox and his Boatyard team will come in. “Roughly, it will take six months at Persico so the first boat will arrive at The Boatyard facility in September 2018, two months after the next race ends. It needs to be finished by the end of November 2018, with the whole fleet ready by the middle of 2019. So we get a new boat every four weeks. It will go into our process for roughly three months, painting, fit-out and then branding of the boat,” said Cox.

    The tender period closed for the inshore foiling multihull at 1200 CEST on the 31 July and 16 proposals were received – a remarkable response from the marine industry.

    Nick Bice – Chief Technical Development Officer – and his team must sift through them and make a decision on which proposal to take forward. “We want to announce the result during the prerace festivities, in Alicante in mid-October,” Bice explained, taking a short break from Leg Zero debriefing with Cox.

    And all this with a race going on at the same time. “It’s a demanding time,” added Cox. “In the last three weeks emails have started coming in quicker than you can fire them back out. Normally you can manage your email, but now the computer updates itself, and you are like, ‘How did 30 emails just come in, in 10 minutes?’ You can feel the momentum building from every angle.”

    And with that, it’s time for the guys to get back to it.
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  4. #64
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    The Next Generation



    Richard Mason takes you on a virtual tour of the next generation Volvo Ocean Race boat.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  5. #65
    Wonder what the old Volvo's will fetch?

  6. #66
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    Volvo reconsiders schedule for future Volvo Ocean Races


    Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

    Following discussions with key stakeholders it has been determined that additional planning time is required to implement the recently announced changes to the race schedule. As a result, the proposed 2019-20 race in new boats will not take place as planned. A revised schedule for future Volvo Ocean Races will be announced as soon as possible. Volvo remains committed to ensuring that any planned changes deliver long-term sustainable benefits to the race and participating teams.

    The design work on the exciting new Super 60 concept, at the forefront of foiling offshore monohull technology, continues.

    The current 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race is completely unaffected by this change and will proceed as publicly announced.

    As a consequence of this review to the race schedule the current CEO for the race Mark Turner has decided to step down from his current position. He will remain in the CEO role until a successor is appointed, a search for which has started.

    “Whilst we regret the fact that Mark has decided to step down from his current role, we are grateful for the hard work and contribution over the last 16 months. The leadership team Mark has put in place will ensure the race remains both a world class sailing and business platform and we wish him all the best for the future,” says Henry Stenson, Chairman of the Volvo Ocean Race supervisory board.

    “Although I have decided to step down from my position, I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to lead the Volvo Ocean Race at this important time. I am confident the 2017-18 race will be one of the best ever,” says Mark Turner.

    Volvo Ocean Race ready for start of race in October 2017

    The 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race will start in Alicante on October 22, 2017 and finish in The Hague in June 2018, visiting 12 stopovers (Alicante, Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff, Gothenburg, The Hague) in the epic around the world adventure covering 45,000 nautical miles. The race will be made up of 7 highly qualified and professional sailing teams, including some of world’s most accomplished and experienced sailors.

    The teams are: Team AkzoNobel, Dongfeng Race Team, MAPFRE, Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, Turn The Tide on Plastic and Team Brunel.

    Q&A

    Q: Will there be an impact on the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race?

    A: No impact on the current edition of the race is expected. Mark Turner’s role was primarily focused on future strategy. The Leadership Team is very well prepared and ready to deliver an outstanding sporting and sponsorship experience. Mark Turner will remain as CEO until a successor is appointed.

    Q: It was announced in May that future races would be held in a two year cycle, rather than the current three year cycle, has that changed?

    A: AB Volvo and Volvo Cars are committed to developing the race going forward as announced in May, including optimizing the race cycle. However, following discussions between the two owners of the event, it has been determined that in order to fully implement the announced changes additional planning time is required, specifically in relation to the race cycle. A final decision will follow at a later stage.

    Q: It was recently announced that the next Race would start in 2019, is that still the case?

    A: Following discussions between Volvo companies, it has been determined that in order to fully implement the announced changes additional planning time is required, specifically in relation to the race cycle. A final decision on this will follow at a later stage. This rules out a race start in 2019 with new boats, however the Volvo Ocean Race leadership team is developing plans to ensure activation opportunities and stakeholder return using the existing boats.

    Q: A number of additional initiatives were announced in May aimed at developing the sporting and commercial value further, are these other initiatives still going ahead?

    A: Yes, that is the intention.
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  7. #67
    That is some shake up.

    Every 2 years seemed a bit optimistic in my humble opinion.

  8. #68
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    On Tuesday, the Volvo Ocean Race CEO announced that he will soon step down from his role. Here, he talks about the news, the upcoming 2017-18 edition and the future.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  9. #69
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    Lisbon To Alicante, Prologue Begins Sunday



    On Sunday afternoon at 1400 local time in Lisbon (1300 UTC), the seven Volvo Ocean Race skippers will lead their teams off the start line of the Prologue Leg, a non-scoring race to the host city and start port of Alicante, Spain.

    It’s a final chance for teams to lock in crew configurations and get in some speed testing against the competition ahead of the start of Leg 1 on October 22 in Alicante.

    “This is the last opportunity for all of the boats to face each other before we start,” says Mark Towill of Vestas 11th Hour Racing. “We’ll be lining up against the other teams to check the things we’ve learned during testing compared to the rest of the fleet.”

    Towill and his team have been training against team AkzoNobel. The Dutch team's Luke Malloy spoke of the benefit from the sessions.

    “The two boat training sessions we did with Vestas 11th Hour Racing were definitely very valuable and actually quite eye opening in a few areas,” he confirms. “Just to check on some of our sail crossovers and lock down what we think we know in some other performance areas.”

    Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee Caffari says she’ll be giving some of her crew who have less offshore miles time on board during the Prologue, as her team makes the transition from training to competition.

    “It’s an opportunity to get back into race mode,” she says. “It’s almost a practice of Leg 1, because we’re going from Lisbon to Alicante and that’s going to be the reverse for Leg 1 so it’s nice to suss it out.”

    Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, disappointed with its results this summer during Leg Zero, will be racing with some new crew members and navigator Steve Hayles says the team will be looking to bed in improvements made during practice over the past month.

    “I think (on Leg Zero) everything was sub-par, so this is a good chance to put into effect everything we’ve been doing since. We’ve been sailing hard, we’ve done at least as many miles as anyone else, and so this is a good opportunity to cement those changes.

    “Nothing is as good a measure of where you stand as going racing and hopefully we’ve made a big step up in our team performance.”

    Rob Greenhalgh, about to embark with the Spanish team MAPFRE on his fifth Volvo Ocean Race, is looking forward to this final look at the opposition.

    “It’s pretty important. Everyone’s going to be keen to check in,” he says. “We’ll be keen to race properly… we won’t be backed off. We’ll be going for it!”

    Dongfeng Racing team director Bruno Dubois will see his team leave the dock in Lisbon satisfied they have done what they need to do to be ready to race by the start of Leg 1.

    “My objective was to make sure we put everything in place and didn’t leave anything to chance,” Dubois explains. “We made a plan and we’ve stayed to it.

    “Maybe someone is going to head out in Leg 1 and be very fast, but we’ve done what we needed to do to make our boat ready and fast for the start of the race. After that, well, it’s a long race.”

    The weather forecast offers a mixed bag that will get the wrinkles out of all the new sails the teams have installed in Lisbon. Crews will face a light wind start in the Tagus River before a gentle run down the coast to Cape Saint-Vincent, the South West corner of Portugal. The light wind sails will stay up for the reach towards the Gibraltar Strait where the real action starts.


    The boats will race upwind through the Gibraltar Strait early on Tuesday morning against the infamous Levanter easterly wind that could accelerate to over 30kts, all while penned in by a narrow coast, heavy shipping exclusion zones and coastal fishing nets. Forced into a 1.5-mile wide channel, skippers will be balancing the desire to push for a good result in their last warm-up versus the need to protect new sails that need to last 45,000 miles around the world.

    Bouwe Bekking, the skipper of Team Brunel, was very candid about placing a priority on protecting his equipment.

    “It’s about finding that balance between pushing the boat, getting it ready, and putting the least amount of hours on the new sails,” he says. “If there is a lot of wind, we’ll want to save our sails… that’s just what we have to do.”

    After the Gibraltar Strait, the fleet will continue upwind through the Alboran Sea along the south Spanish coast in an uncomfortable sea state created by fresh easterlies running over the permanent eastwards current created by the Atlantic flowing into the Mediterranean. Turning northwards by Cabo de Gata, the wind is expected to drop to just 5 knots from the east, pushing the homecoming in the Alicante race village deep into Wednesday evening.

    “We heard all the stories about how the Race Village in Alicante is nearly ready and everyone is waiting for us to arrive,” Caffari says. “And I know from the moment we arrive, the circus begins and it is pretty much non-stop. The time will fly by and we’ll be crossing that start line and heading away from Alicante for Leg 1 in no time.”

    The Prologue Leg starts at 1300 UTC from Lisbon. Follow along with our Blog at www.volvooceanrace.com.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  10. #70
    It would be faster if they just started in Lisbon!

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