Knut Frostad announces new Farr 65ft one design

Volvo Ocean Race to enter a new era

Thursday June 28th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: France

The Volvo Ocean Race has unveiled details of the high-performance 65ft one design yacht that will be used for the next two editions of the race.

The aim of the new yacht, presented by CEO Knut Frostad this morning Lorient, is to significantly reduce the cost of mounting a competitive campaign and are to increase the size of the fleet to 8-10 boats in the next race and beyond.

The 65 footer monohull will be a strict one-design, penned by by Annapolis-based Farr Yacht Design and constructed by a consortium of leading boatyards including Persico in Italy (builders of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing), Multiplast in France (builders of Groupama) and Decision in Switzerland with assembly and overall co-ordination of the build carried out by Green Marine, who will also be responsible for selling the boats.

Under an agreement between Volvo Ocean Race and the consortium, a minimum of eight boats will be built to contest the next two races.

Work will begin in July and the first of the racing yachts in the new class will be completed by June 2013, well over a year before the start of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, due to set sail from Alicante, Spain in the second half of 2014.

"This breathtaking new design, and the agreement to build at least eight yachts, will take the Volvo Ocean Race into an exciting new era," said Knut Frostad, the Race's Chief Executive Officer. "It represents another major milestone for a race that has never been afraid to move forward in our 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 (1.5 metres) shorter, the new boat will be almost as fast as the Volvo Open 70s that are contesting the current race. The boat will be designed and built with the latest video, satellite and content production facilities to further enhance the work being done in the unique Media Crew Member programme that has been in place since the 2008-09 race.

The agreement announced in Lorient has been made possible after Volvo Ocean Race S.L.U. secured financing that will underpin the process of designing and building the boats according to schedule.

The Volvo Ocean Race is owned by Volvo Car Corporation and The Volvo Group, who together reaffirmed their open-ended commitment to the race at a news conference ahead of the start of the current edition in Alicante in November 2011.

Stefan Jacoby, CEO of Volvo Car Corporation said: "We at Volvo Cars are fully behind these initiatives, which we believe will secure the future of this great event on all levels but also stay faithful to the very basis of the Volvo Ocean Race as the sport's premier offshore competition for the world's leading sailors."

His counterpart at Volvo Group AB Olof Persson also gave firm backing to the moves: "Volvo Group believes the plans presented to us by Knut and his team will take the Volvo Ocean Race to the next level with an innovative boat design which keeps us at the forefront of ocean racing while giving us the best possible chance of building bigger fleets. I am delighted as CEO to confirm my absolute confidence that the Race is taking the best route to an even brighter future."

Marcel Müller, Managing Director of Green Marine said: “For us it’s a great honour and a great challenge to be involved in this project and a race that is part of our heritage. It’s the opportunity to work together with some of the best professionals in the marine industry including the other boatyards and the designers. We’re ready to create something very special.”

The process will significantly reduce the barrier to competing in the Volvo Ocean Race and the cost of mounting a competitive campaign, which CEO Frostad said would be possible for less than 15 million euros.

The “ready to sail” cost of the boats, including sails for the pre-Race period and the Race itself, will be around 4.5 million euros, while further significant cost savings will be made possible by the pooling of resources. "Our clear goal throughout the planning process for the next race has been to make it easier and less costly to mount a campaign in the Volvo Ocean Race," Frostad said. "This is a big step towards that goal.

"This new one-design is fantastic looking and will be ultra-reliable and great to race. We're heading into a new era of this great race with a future that it's more exciting and more secure."

Vital statistics comparison:

Column1 VOD 65 VO70
Length 19.80 (65ft) 21.50 (70.5ft)
Beam 5.6m 5.7m
Max draft 4.7m 4.5m
Displacement 10.75 T 14 T
Righting moment 33 Tonne metres 44 Tonne metres
Keel cant angle 40deg 40deg
Keel fore-aft incline 3deg 0deg
Rig height 30.3 (99.4ft) 31.5 (103.3ft)
Freeboard at mast 1.72m 1.6m
Mainsail area 151sqm 175sqm
Working headsail 151sqm 175sqm
Bowsprit 2.15m 1.82m
No of sails 7 1-
Water ballast 1 x 1000lt centreline fwd 1 x 1600lt centreline aft
  2 x800lt aft wing tanks  

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