Volvo Open 70

Class symbol

Competitors of the 2005–2006 Volvo Ocean Race.
Design Development class
Draft 4.5 m (15 ft)
LOA 21.5 m (71 ft)
Beam 5.7 m (19 ft)
Mast Length 31.5 m (103 ft)
Mainsail area 75 m2 (810 sq ft)
Jib / Genoa area 94 m2 (1,010 sq ft)

The Volvo Open 70 (sometimes referred to as a Volvo Ocean 70) is the former class of racing yachts designed for the Volvo Ocean Race. It was first used in the 2005–06 race (replacing the Volvo Ocean 60 yachts which were first used in 1993) and use a Canting keel which is capable of canting transversely up to an angle of 40 degrees. According to the VO70 rule, the yachts can be made from glass fibres, aramid fibres, or carbon fibres (which were not allowed for the VO60’s).

The Volvo Open 70 is not a singular yacht design or boat but rather a set of design rules to which competing boats must adhere. This is similar to the concept to the design and construction rules that define a racing car. Competing teams design and build boats within the scope of this rule to try and come up with the fastest boat for the expected conditions of the race.

Version 2 of the VO70 rule which “has been further developed to apply the lessons learned on the last event and ensure the continuing evolution of this outstanding class” was released in September 2006.[1] [2] A revised VO70 rule, version 3, has been released in 2011.

It was announced the boat would be replaced by the Volvo Ocean 65 for future editions of the race during a stopover in the 2011–2012 Edition of the Volvo Ocean Race on June 28, 2012 in Lorient, France.[3]


Attribute Metric Imperial
Length Overall 21.5 m 70.5 ft
Beam 5.7 m 18.7 ft
Draft 4.5 m 14.8 ft
Mast 31.5 m 103.3 ft
Displacement 14,000 kg 30,870 lb
Depth (canting keel) 4.5 m 14.8 ft
Ballast 7,400 kg 16,320 lb
Mainsail 175 m² 1,883 sq'
Storm Jib 35 m² 376 sq'
Jib 94 m² 1,011 sq'
Spinnaker (Masthead) 500 m² 5,381 sq'
Spinnaker (Fractional Rig) 350 m² 3,767 sq'
Storm Trysail 41 m² 441 sq'

Current record

Since the launch of the class it has proven itself to be the fastest distance monohull sailboat class ever built. Today all major distance monohull records are established by VO70's. For example, in October 2008 the yacht Ericsson 4 officially travelled 596.6 nautical miles in 24 hours, establishing a 24-hour monohull record. Skipper Torben Grael and his crew made the record on the first leg of the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race. They sailed Ericsson 4 hard as a strong cold front hit the fleet, bringing winds approaching 40 knots, and propelling the yacht at an average speed of 24.8 knots. This record stood for 7 years until the supermaxi Comanche, a boat 30 feet longer, established a new record of 618,01 nautical miles on july 10-11 2015 in the Transatlantic Race.

In 2010 the VO70 Delta Lloyd (former ABN Amro I) established a new English Channel record with skipper Bouwe Bekking. In 2010 the VO70 Groupama 70 (former Ericsson 4) broke the record for the Round Britain and Ireland Race in 5 days 21:26:55. This record was broken by the VO65 Abu Dhabi in the 2014 race to 4 days 13:10:28. In July 2011 the VO70 Puma Mar Mostro won the TR 2011 on handicap, finishing second only to Rambler 100. At the Fastnet 2011 the three first monohulls were all VO70's and they all broke the existing monohull record. The record now stands at 1d 18hrs and 39 min and is owned by VO70 Abu Dhabi. [4]

Past records

In April 2005, the VO70 Movistar broke the 24 hour world monohull speed record when she sailed 530 nautical miles.[5] In 2006 ABN Amro II broke that record when she sailed 562.96 nautical miles. This record was broken in 2008 by Ericsson 4 with 596.6 nm[6]



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