VOR Unveils New One Design

As the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Racing enters its final weeks, VOR management has unveiled a new boat for the next two editions that it hopes will address the twin problems of high costs and breakages. n a break with tradition the new 65-footer, which has been designed by Volvo veteran Farr Yacht Design, will be a one-design, constructed by a consortium of boatyards in the UK, France, Italy and Switzerland.
Author:
Publish date:
VORnewboat

As the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Racing enters its final weeks, VOR management has unveiled a new boat for the next two editions that it hopes will address the twin problems of high costs and breakages.

VORnewboat2

In a break with tradition the new 65-footer, which has been designed by Volvo veteran Farr Yacht Design, will be a one-design, constructed by a consortium of boatyards in the UK, France, Italy and Switzerland.

All previous races, including those that took place during the earlier Whitbread era, have been held aboard handicapped boats or boats built to a box rule design, like the current generation of VOR70s.

Despite the fact that the VOR70s have produced racing that is unprecedented in its competitiveness, they have proved to be highly problematic because of their high cost vulnerability to dismastings and hull failures. The current fleet of six boats is much smaller than what had been originally hoped for; VOR chief executive Knut Frostad says he is hoping eight to 10 boats will be on the start line for the 2014-15 race.

"This breathtaking new design, and the agreement to build at least eight yachts, will take the Volvo Ocean Race into an exciting new era," Frostad says. “It represents another major milestone for a race that has never been afraid to move forward in its 39-year history. This move to a one-design gives us an enormous head start in our planning for the next two races and puts the Volvo Ocean Race in even better shape going forward."

Despite being five feet shorter, Frostad says new boat will be almost as fast as the Volvo Open 70s that are contesting the current race. The “ready to sail” cost of the boats, including sails for both training and the race itself, will be around $5.7 million.

"Our clear goal throughout the planning process for the next race has been to make it easier and less costly to mount a campaign," Frostad says. "This is a big step toward that goal."

Although a one-design approach does away with the “design competition” that has been such a big part of past races, James Dadd, project manager for the new design, says the boats themselves should be as exciting as ever.

“Being freed from the restrictions of the previous Volvo Open 70 box rule opened up a wealth of performance improvement opportunities,” Dadd says. “In the Volvo Open 70 we had very tight restrictions to ensure that people didn’t develop outside of the ‘box’. When we go to a single design we don’t have to apply those restrictions. This means that areas of development which were prohibited in the Volvo Open 70 can be fully exploited in the new design.”

According to Dadd, the new boat will be around three tons lighter than a VOR 70, which provides opportunities for significant performance gains, particularly downwind. It could also facilitate a greater diversity of crews.

“One of the reasons we have gone for the lighter overall weight is that the new design -- with a lot of that weight coming out of the bulb -- is to make the boat more tender and twitchy,” he says. “This means you won’t need to have so much raw physical power to be able to sail them, opening up opportunities for all-female teams in future races.”

Low cost? All-female crews? Interesting, and hopefully just the thing to help get a classic race that many believe has lost its way back on track. 

Volvo One Design 65 Specs:

Hull length: 67ft (20.40m)

Length on deck: 65ft (19,8m)

Beam: 18.4ft (5.6m)

Max draft: 15.4ft (4.7m)

Boat weight (empty): 10,750 kg (23,700 lb)

Keel arrangement: Canting keel to +/- 40 degrees with 3 degrees of incline at axis

Daggerboards: Twin reversible, retracting asymmetric daggerboards

Rudders: Twin under-hull with spare that may also be transom-hung

Aft water ballast: Twin 800L venture filled tanks under cockpit sides at transom

Forward water ballast: Single centreline 1000L venture filled tank forward of mast

Rig height: 30.30m (99.4ft)

Rig arrangement: Deck-stepped, twin backstays with deflectors

Bowsprit length: 2.15m (7ft)

Mainsail area: 151m2

Working headsail area: 135m2 (permanently hoisted jib)

Upwind sail area: 451m2

Downwind sail area: 550m2

Related

MHS-GMR_3549

New Multihulls 2018

Farrier F-22 New Zealander Ian Farrier ushered in a new genre of sailing with his folding-ama trailerable trimarans, the best-known of which are the Corsair designs. Farrier’s last project before he passed away last year was this sweet little tri. Available in three versions, ...read more

shutterstock_373701682

Cruising: Island Comeback

The U.S. Virgins Islands have surged back from the devastation of the 2017 hurricanes, with new infrastructure plans that will benefit charterers and cruisers alike. After hurricanes Irma and Maria roared through the Leeward Islands in September 2017, it was impossible to ...read more

albintoilet

Gear: Albin Pump Marine Toilet

Head Start Is there room for a new marine toilet? Albin Pump Marine thinks so, having just introduced its line of Swedish-built heads—ranging from compact to full-size models—to the American market. The toilets feature vitreous porcelain bowls and either wooden or thermoplastic ...read more

07n_45R2699

Multihull Sailor: Classic Cats

If you’re looking for a decent sub-40ft cruising cat, you have few choices when it comes to new-boat offerings. It is a well-known fact that the multihull market has taken off in a way very few could have predicted. Despite Hurricane Irma’s recent destruction of a large part of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Thanks a bunch  This scene is very calm and seamanlike. No frantic rope throwing or shouting. As he passes the line to the gent on the dock, the crew on the boat says, quietly and clearly, “Would you ...read more

mcarthy-and-mouse

Experience: McCarthy and the Mouse

Sitting at the helm in a light breeze, my arms crusted with a fine rime of salt, my skin so dry I’d lost my fingerprints, I heard a clatter and a curse from below. There were only three of us a thousand miles from shore and only one on watch at a time. Usually, the off watch lay ...read more