Volvo Ocean Race 2005 pt2


James Boyd looks at the different boats that might be suitable and proposed a Volvo ocean racing circuit
Yesterday we concluded that a way needed to be found to cut the costs for campaigns taking part in the Volvo Ocean Race and that the biggest cuts could be made by reducing the amount of time spent in port. The issue of over a new boat for the Volvo Ocean Race is slightly different. While the present generation of Volvo Ocean 60s are very sophisticated, finely tuned beasts, if the Volvo Ocean Race is to maintain its position as the premier ocean racing event, then a bigger, faster and more exciting boat is required. This was the view of several skippers in the early 1990s when the giant maxi boat lead-mines were dropped in favour of the more nimble, water ballasted 60ft class. A decade on it is truer than ever. If a boat destined for the world's premier round the world race enters an event such as the Fastnet or the Round Gotland, then it should be at least in the running for line honours. The situation has also changed in that the Volvo Ocean Race is no longer the only fully crewed grand prix yacht race sailing the 'right' way around the world. The Race caused the creation of a new generation of giant multihulls. Yachts such as Club Med and PlayStation are faster than anything that has gone before them, capable of clocking up daily mileages that would have been unimaginable only five years ago. And they have a headline grabbing potential that a Volvo campaign could only dream about. When one of these boats rolls into port heads turn. The Race is where Kevin Shoebridge believes the Volvo organisers should be getting their inspiration. He is no fan of the Volvo 60. "From the public point of view, they see eight small boats that aren't very

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