Ocean Race. The next world tour with crew: IMOCA and VO 65?
On Tuesday, December 11, the new organizers of the Ocean Race 2021 (formerly Volvo Ocean Race) presented what the new test could look like, now open not only to VO 65 but also to IMOCA monohulls. But we will have to wait to find out more ...
The beautiful linen is there, Tuesday evening, Porte de Versailles, on the occasion of one of the most awaited presentations of this Nautic. The too small room is crowded, the latecomers are repressed. There are already enough people standing in the back ...
In addition to the top of the world sailing and the last race around the world in crew, including the winner Charles Caudrelier and his navigator Pascal Bidégorry, all the contenders for the next Vendée Globe came or almost, still chiselled by the sun of the Antilles. Their rough hands also bear the stigmata of the Route du Rhum.
Wooden tongue exercise
It must also be said that IMOCA organized its General Assembly on Tuesday morning. We are here to hear about the world tour, which on the invitation card is called "fully crewed around the world race"; Volvo, title sponsor for twenty years, having decided to retire.
We expect to learn a lot of things ... but we remain on our hunger at the end of a remarkably mastered exercise of language, of which the Anglo-Saxons are kings.
To whet our appetite, we still have right to the eloquent figures of the last Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018 won in a crazy final by the French-Chinese boat Dongfeng .
It must be said that these statistics cause and have something to impress: 2.5 million visitors, 94,000 VIP guests, 4,356 accredited journalists, 3,900 hours of televisions including 194 hours in "live", or 74 million euros return on investment for seven boats in the race: notice to sponsors!
We then confirmed the common desire to open the IMOCA class very (too) Franco-French to abroad, but also to coexist for the first time the fastest monohulls in the world (the 60 feet IMOCA) with the VO 65 monotypes will compete here for their third edition, led by young crews.
In 2021, the Ocean Race (the final name will be unveiled in 2019) will always leave Alicante. The organizers expect a plateau of 6 to 7 VO 65 and between 10 and 15 IMOCA. If in front the agreement is more than cordial and constructive, we feel pretty quickly that everything is not settled so far. We note that no stage is announced (the step cities are still in negotiation), and there are differences between the "Frenchies" who would like fewer stages and fewer teams, when the Anglo-Saxons would prefer the opposite - more stages, more teams.
Fewer steps, fewer teams
The floor is given to Samantha Davies, the most French of the British. This is one of the very few, if not the only one, to have played both the Vendée Globe and the Volvo Ocean Race. "So I understand these two worlds," she says before adding that it is "also favorable to fewer stages and fewer teams."
So these are two worlds ...
We talk a lot about sustainable development, we dream of a world tour without fossil energy ... but we understand pretty quickly that lack of energy autonomy soft controlled to date, it's not for now.
But hey, the nerve of war is first to find the budget. For a Vendée Globe solo in 2020, followed by the Ocean Race in 2021 crewed, it could turn around 10 or 15 million euros for a new boat. It is nice to hear the architects preaching the good word, it will not be simple and probably very expensive to change the configuration of IMOCA in such a short time, to accommodate a crew of 6 (plus a reporter embarked?), according to figures that circulate but have not been announced or confirmed.
The architect Juan Kouyoumdjian claims that one can consider winning and the Vendée Globe and the Ocean Race with the same boat. To have ! Finally, we learn via a "slide" that a tour of Europe is planned in 2019 ... in fact a tour of the promotional Europe VO 65, to show the radiation of the event and attract sponsors.
No doubt, the specifications are downright enticing, the ambitious and exciting program. The skippers and the Landerneau of the offshore race are in the starting blocks. The host whistles the end of the presentation. We have learned nothing or almost nothing!
Find all the information on the Nautic de Paris.