Volvo Ocean 65
The Volvo Ocean 65 Mapfre and Azzam at the start of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante in October 2014.
|Designer||Farr Yacht Design|
|Draft||4.78 m (15.7 ft)|
|LOA||22.14 m (72.6 ft)|
|LWL||20.00 m (65.62 ft)|
|Beam||5.60 m (18.4 ft)|
The Volvo Ocean 65 is the successor to the Volvo Open 70 yacht used in past editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. It was announced at a conference in Lorient, France during a stopover in the 2011–12 Volvo Ocean Race. It has officially been announced that the yacht will be used in at least two future editions of the race (2014–2015 and 2017–2018 editions, respectively), marking the first time in its history that the Volvo Ocean Race will become a one-design event.
The yacht was designed by Farr Yacht Design, to be a cheaper and safer alternative to the ageing and expensive Volvo Open 70. After many safety concerns in the 2011–12 Volvo Ocean Race, many began doubting the safety of the Volvo Open 70, due to many designers opting for faster designs, while failing to meet safety requirements. Current Volvo Ocean Race CEO, and four time competitor Knut Frostad hinted at a new boat design to address the current safety concerns in a statement he made during a press conference on April 4, 2012 stating: "It's important that we don't leap to any conclusions about why these breakages have happened. Some of them are clearly not related. However, we will take the current issues into account as we make decisions on rules and technology we will be using in the future." Frostad also went on to say "We have already put in a lot of work, discussing with teams, designers and all other stakeholders about the boats and the rules we will use in the future, and we expect to be in a position to announce a decision on that before the end of the current race."
On June 28, 2012 Knut Frostad revealed the design at a press conference in Lorient during a stopover in the 2011–12 Volvo Ocean Race. In becoming a one-design event, the new boats are hoped to "significantly reduce the cost of mounting a campaign and bring the size of the fleet to 8-10 boats for future editions." Frostad went on to state an entire campaign for future editions of the race would be around €15 million, and a "ready to sail" boat, including pre-race and race sails would be around €4.5 million in comparison to the €30-40 million region a current campaign can fall into.
|Features||Measurements / Notes|
|Hull Length||20.37 m (defined as 66 ft)|
|Length waterline (design)||20.00 m (defined as 65 ft)|
|Length overall (incl. bowsprit)||22.14 m (defined as 72 ft)|
|Hull Beam||5.60 m (18.4 ft)|
|Max Draft||4.78 m (15.8 ft)|
|Boat Weight (empty)||12,500 kg (27,557 lb)|
|Keel arrangement||Canting keel to ±40° with 5° 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 ballast tanks under cockpit sides at transom|
|Forward Water Ballast||Single centerline 1000L ballast tank forward of mast|
|Rig Height||30.30 m (99.4 ft)|
|Rig Arrangement||Deck stepped, twin backstays with deflectors|
|Bowsprit Length||2.14 m (7 ft)|
|Mainsail Area||163 m2 (3 reefing points, 6 battens)|
|Working Headsail (J1) Area||133 m2 (Fixed with hanks on the permanent forestay; horizontal battens)|
|Upwind Sail Area||296–451 m2 (Mainsail and Jib 1 or Masthead Code 0, plus Jib 2 or Jib 3)|
|Downwind Sail Area||578+ m2 (Mainsail and A3 gennaker, additional staysails are permitted)|
Comparison to Volvo Open 70
After unveiling the boat design, the reception was mostly positive from sailors who have been involved in the race in the past. Although there has been some criticism from fans, and yacht designer Juan Kouyoumdjian, whose designs have won the last 3 editions of the Volvo Ocean Race (2005–06, 2008-09 and 2011-12, respectively).
The most negative feedback to the announcement of a one-design came from yacht designer Juan Kouyoumdjian. Having had tremendous success with all of his previous entries in the race, he has stated his disapproval of the Volvo Ocean Race becoming a one-design event. Juan addressed the main issue of Volvo Open 70's being expensive stating that he could "definitely confirm" the boats he designed fell into the €5 million range, and that despite trying to make the race more accessible to sponsors and more of a testament to a sailors skill, rather than budget, "the richest will always win." Despite his criticism, he also went on to confirm that in the event that the Volvo Ocean Race became a one-design event, he had already been approached to optimize the Volvo 65 design for a "potential future team."
- "Volvo Ocean Race Official Website: "Volvo Ocean Race to enter new era with 65-foot one-design"".
- "Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Official Website: "ABU DHABI TO HOLD OFF, AVOID BOAT-BREAKING CONDITIONS"".
- "Volvo Ocean Race Official Website: "Team Sanya to ship to Miami as fastest route back into race"".
- "Volvo Ocean Race Official Website: "Volvo Ocean Race CEO expresses concern at breakages"".
- "The Daily Sail: "Introducing the Volvo 65 one design"".
- "New specifications on Volvo Ocean Race's website". Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- "Volvo Ocean 65 Features" (PDF).
- "Groupama in the Volvo Ocean Race Official Website: "Juan Kouyoumdjian, the architect of Groupama 4 within Groupama sailing team"".
- "Juan Kouyoumdjian talks to VSail.info about the Volvo Ocean Race (Part I)". VSail.info. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
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