Only Three Teams in 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race

The good news is that the Volvo Ocean Race has what looks to be a fast, super-sexy one-design boat for crews to compete aboard. The bad news is that at press time, with less than a year to go to the October 4, 2014, start in Alicante, Spain, only three teams had officially thrown their hats into the ring: China’s Team Dongfeng, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Sweden’s all-female Team SCA.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
 Team SCA’s new VO65 looks pretty in pink and is one heck of a ride off the wind

Team SCA’s new VO65 looks pretty in pink and is one heck of a ride off the wind

The good news is that the Volvo Ocean Race has what looks to be a fast, super-sexy one-design boat for crews to compete aboard. The bad news is that at press time, with less than a year to go to the October 4, 2014, start in Alicante, Spain, only three teams had officially thrown their hats into the ring: China’s Team Dongfeng, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Sweden’s all-female Team SCA.

But all is not necessarily lost. The whole idea behind the new Farr-designed Volvo Ocean 65 was to make it cheaper and easier to organize a campaign, thereby boosting the number of entries. All boats are to be delivered in “ready to sail” condition, with severe restrictions on modifications that can be made afterward. This, in turn, means there is no reason why viable sponsors can’t launch serious campaigns at the last minute.

 Team SCA has been the very first to get a crack at making the new one-design fly

Team SCA has been the very first to get a crack at making the new one-design fly

VOR organizers have also already committed to using VO65s in at least two other events, ensuring they will not immediately become obsolete at the end of the 2014-15 race. 

“Now that the Volvo Ocean Race has gone one-design, it’s a much smaller time requirement to be involved for a full campaign,” says Oracle Team USA grinder Shannon Falcone, who is currently on the lookout for a team. “If you have the right group of guys, you can pretty much come in last minute and do just a little bit of sailing. You don’t have to do the months and months of testing and development beforehand.”

Something else to keep in mind: because the new boats are being delivered on a first-come-first-served basis, there is a strong incentive to enter the fray as late as possible, since the later builds will likely be slightly faster as the builders refine their construction processes.

Although the 2011-12 VOR, which was won by France’s Groupama, proved to be one of most dramatic in the 40-year history of the event, there was no disguising the fact there were only six teams competing. In creating the new VO65, race organizers have already committed to building at least eight boats.

As for the VO65s themselves, if Team SCA’s experience thus far is any indication, the competitors in the next installment of the VOR are in for a heck of a good time.

“After seeing the boat in the shed compared to the VOR70 ,I was interested to see how the 65 would be to sail, but we were impressed with its performance, especially sailing downwind,” says SCA boat caption Liz Wardley. Expect to see a number of other as-yet unnamed teams checking out this hot new design in the months to come. 

Photos courtesy of Rick Tomlinson/Team SCA

Related

DSC_5337-2

Boat Review: X-Yachts X4⁶

The Danish builder X-Yachts does not simply stick taller or shorter rigs and keels on the same hulls to create boats for both cruisers and racers, as some mass-production builders do. Nor is it content to build two distinct lines of cruisers and racers. Instead, the company has ...read more

Screen Shot 2020-09-18 at 1.18.36 PM

Harken Changes Hands, Stays in the Family

. In a video posted yesterday, Peter Harken cheerfully announced that his company, Harken Inc., the trusted hardware brand bearing his last name, which was formerly owned by founders and their families has changed hands. The owners have sold their shares to employees—"passing ...read more

OceanRace

Newport Hosts The Ocean Race Summit on Ocean Health

Hundreds of participants from around the world tuned in yesterday for the latest installment of The Ocean Race's (formerly the Volvo Ocean Race) Summit Series, which aims to bring the best of ocean racing—leadership, resilience, tenacity, collaboration—to solving the ocean’s ...read more

sp360_fs5-024crop (1)

Highfield SPORT 360

The new 2021 SPORT 360 is the next generation of Highfield boats. Highfield is celebrating its 10th year in the market this year and in this relatively short period of time has now delivered over 30,000 boats to happy customers in 38 countries. Highfield is already the ...read more

sp560_drone-028crop

Highfield SPORT 560

The new 2021 SPORT 560 is the next generation of Highfield boats. Highfield is celebrating its 10th year in the market this year and in this relatively short period of time has now delivered over 30,000 boats to happy customers in 38 countries. Highfield is already the ...read more

Three Props 1772x1181

EWOL Propellers

Ewol propellers make maneuvering easier, increase sailing speed and increase cruising speed under power. EWOL adjustable pitch propellers are made of stainless steel alloys that represent the highest technology in terms of marine corrosion and galvanic corrosion resistance, ...read more

leadership-forum-LGBTQ-email-graphic

Tonight: US Sailing’s LGBTQ+ Panel

Tune in to the latest installment in US Sailing’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Series tonight at 7pm EDT. This week Kimball Livingston will moderate a panel of LGBTQ+ sailors who will share their personal and professional experiences as well as strategies for improving ...read more