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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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The best-kept secret in sailing (outside of ETNZ's wing control) comes at the end of a long press conference from Volvo HQ in Gothenburg, SWE, and in our opinion, it's a mixed bag.  Here's a synopsis of Mark Turner's speech, in order of importance (to us): 

1) The 2020 Volvo Ocean Race will be contested in what the new design chief calls a 'Turbo IMOCA'; 60 foot foiling monohulls with adjustable-flap foils while the in-port racing will happen in foiling cats.  The 60 footer will be 'convertible' to an IMOCA, and the VOR in-house design team led by Guillaume Verdier.  The cats are being opened up to a design tender process starting today at between 32 and 50 feet.  Turner says the new lease program and pooled services program allows a similar budget for future races to that of today.

2) The 2020 Race has a wishlist of 8 teams, and all boats will be owned by VOR and leased to teams in an attempt to reduce the initial barriers to a new team/sponsor.

3) Sustainability looks to be a real goal this time rather than just more lip service to 'green' sponsors.  VOR spent the last ten years bowing primarily to the god of social media - their new pet deity is now a clean ocean, and they've got funding and support from 11th Hour, Akzo, and the United Nations, and their goal is a fleet of Zero Emission races.  2017/18 sustainable goals will be met with help of rules requiring team use of official RIBs, hydrogenerator minimums, fuel maximums, etc.

4) It's obvious the VOR has struggled pulling in team sponsors - that's why you saw the Hong Kong team's offer accepted yesterday, why there are still 3 empty boats, and why VOR is still trying to find someone to run a 'clean the oceans' entry for an all-women/all-youth/50/50 mixed team for the coming edition they say is already half funded.

5) Volvo and the VOR have formed a major partnership with World Sailing, principally to help create a pipeline for young sailors to become offshore pros and VOR crews.  This includes new VOR Academies (presumably in partnership with existing organizations) and keeps Turner and his hefty experience involved in the possibility of the offshore racing Olympic event that World Sailing has been chasing from the IOC.

6) Course may be radically different, especially for the 50th anniversary 2023 event.  More racing between races or a straight up 2-year race cycle, with race activity every year.  Maybe a crewed non-stop race around Antarctica.  

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I'm speaking to Turner in a few hours.  Anyone with good questions for him, post 'em.

 

 

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Clean, 

how will they manage to carry VIPs on board the inshore foiling multihull?  Seems like having up to 3 guests on board the 60 foot mono for inshore was just too easy.

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my main question to Turner is why to keep OD? It is clearly not working as team sponsors are still not coming. The technological race is lost by keeping OD. The VOR feels like a Clipper with Pros on board. 

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Syde - they are keeping the GC32s for VIP experience

Genealex - no mention of wings - boats not decided yet

 

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Jeronimoll - main reason for OD is cost. The additional cost of a design programme in terms of personnel and time is massive - then as Ian Walker discovered with the first Abu Dhabi you could end up losing the race before you start

SS

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Do they feel that designing the boats so they could be IMOCA compliant will compromise what could be achieved performance wise in a 60ish foot foiling mono platform given a completely blank piece of paper? 

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How many crew on the new 60ft boat?  There was a very odd aside that mentioned 5 crew plus media person. That seems insanely low. Unless it was referring to one watch.  In which case it implies 10 crew plus media, which is more realistic, but also revealing in itself. 10 crew might imply more prescriptive rules on crew makeup.

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Shanghai,

this new forum software has lost my user name "STYACHT". 

The question is to Clean for Mark Turner.  The GC32 is not part of the VOR, that is the Great Cup.  Besides, not really ideal for VIPs on board.  No VIPs on board GC32, AC45 or AC50.  It's an issue.

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The M32 was chosen as the VIP boat for this edition, not the GC32, which is used in both the GC32 Series and the EXSS.  There is no Great Cup anymore.

 

 

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Good to know that the rumour was true, means I can trust some people to tell the truth and more than they should... :)

Question to MT,
- With the VO65 as corporate option: will they be sailing effectively the same course or will they not make it to each stopover port?
- How is having 2 boats (and very different types at that) going to make the event "simpeler" to follow to grow your follower/fan base (and therefore keep your event interesting to sponsors)?

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A question - since 1990 the VOR boats have been getting more and more different from the usual offshore racing mono. The biggest collapse in the fleet came when the VOR introduced its own class for the first time, and it got even smaller when they tightened the classes and threw away the last of the 'usual' boats.

If the fleet gets smaller when you take the race further away from the usual offshore racing scene and into tighter classes, why do you keep on doing it? 

 

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18 minutes ago, flaming2 said:

Do they feel that designing the boats so they could be IMOCA compliant will compromise what could be achieved performance wise in a 60ish foot foiling mono platform given a completely blank piece of paper? 

Yes

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24 minutes ago, shanghaisailor said:

Jeronimoll - main reason for OD is cost. The additional cost of a design programme in terms of personnel and time is massive - then as Ian Walker discovered with the first Abu Dhabi you could end up losing the race before you start

SS

I know, I know, and the fact that we would likely not having a race now without OD introduced in the past edition. But fact is that team sponsors are still not coming (and most are not repeating). So cost is not the issue, the value delivered is. It is time to tell the emperor he is naked.  Get rid of OD! 

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22 minutes ago, SYDE said:

Shanghai,

this new forum software has lost my user name "STYACHT". 

The question is to Clean for Mark Turner.  The GC32 is not part of the VOR, that is the Great Cup.  Besides, not really ideal for VIPs on board.  No VIPs on board GC32, AC45 or AC50.  It's an issue.

The GC32 is on the GC32 Racing TOur and the Extreme Sailing Series. On the Extreme Sailing Series they carry VIP guests in every race that conditions permit.

The Great Cup is not an event, but the company that supplies the boats

So carrying guests is not an issue for the GC32

THe VOR is using M32s for this time round.  Lets be honest there are plenty of them around not being used very muc.

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6 minutes ago, JeronimoII said:

I know, I know, and the fact that we would likely not having a race now without OD introduced in the past edition. But fact is that team sponsors are still not coming (and most are not repeating). So cost is not the issue, the value delivered is. It is time to tell the emperor he is naked.  Get rid of OD! 

Three of the 5 teams announced so far are repeat sponsors...Dongfeng, Vestas, and Mapfre; whilst I agree that the OD aspect removes a lot of the pre race interest, as well as a huge amount of interest during the race (due to a lack of design sweet spots), I also understand that the initiation of OD has meant a controlling of costs.  

I think one of the issues with being more open design would be the stated desire to have a shorter cycle. 

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I said "most" do not return. Anyway, the three you mention not sure qualify as Dongfeng comes back due to its Volvo relation (it is partly owned by Volvo), Mapfre for financial returns due to the Spanish tax benefits (Alicante is obliged to deliver a team in its contract. The tax benefits are in place to help them fulfil this obligation). Vestas seems genuine as it has unfinished business  although I suspect they are going to have a very small involvement this time around (i.e. limited activation from their side).  But don't get me wrong, any reason is valid to join the race, being strengthening the business relationship with Volvo, financial gains, or unfinished business. The issue are the Puma's, Abu Dhabi, Groupama, Ericsson, Movistar/Telefonica, ABN Amro, SCA, etc. that came and went. 

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2 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

I'm speaking to Turner in a few hours.  Anyone with good questions for him, post 'em.

 

 

It's farly intuitive that VOR and the Americas Cup might consider a similar multi platform - essentially having two pinnacle events joining - even if just to the extent that they use the same inshore racing class.  You mentioned that VOR aimed to have have action happining each and every year - that's an AC ambition too.  Are we likely to see an announcement of coopertaion/integration between VOR and AC?

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The potential for bringing IMOCA, AC, VOR and WS loosely into the same tent down the track is the masterstroke of this announcement today. A Gamechanger.

 

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In summation, VOR realised they couldn't put on a decent ocean race all on their lonesome. 

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19 minutes ago, SCANAS said:

In summation, VOR realised they couldn't put on a decent ocean race all on their lonesome. 

We have a winner!!

Open style boats are cool but should have made them their own class. 70 foot. Wanting to sell them off after they are spent to the IMOCA crowd seems very short sighted.

Cats inshore, while it will be good to watch, seeing the Offshore boats race inshore is fun and will be missed.

Overall grade for this idea: C-

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2 hours ago, JeronimoII said:

I said "most" do not return. Anyway, the three you mention not sure qualify as Dongfeng comes back due to its Volvo relation (it is partly owned by Volvo), Mapfre for financial returns due to the Spanish tax benefits (Alicante is obliged to deliver a team in its contract. The tax benefits are in place to help them fulfil this obligation). Vestas seems genuine as it has unfinished business  although I suspect they are going to have a very small involvement this time around (i.e. limited activation from their side).  But don't get me wrong, any reason is valid to join the race, being strengthening the business relationship with Volvo, financial gains, or unfinished business. The issue are the Puma's, Abu Dhabi, Groupama, Ericsson, Movistar/Telefonica, ABN Amro, SCA, etc. that came and went. 

You are citing sponsors who spent a fortune and did multiple races to support your thesis that sponsors do not do multiple races.  WTF

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Not the switch to OD  but the media landscape has meanwhile changed dramatically that the budgets to participate with a team in the VOR are no longer justified. A lot of exposure to a limited number of viewers/followers. On top of that, apart from a maritime point of view, many of the stopovers are in not very relevant markets for a majority of  brands.   Interested to know how Mark thinks to get those two back in line.

Another question would be - Will they improve the online updates of the fleet and will they be able to scramble the AIS signal for each other (not for us) to make racing more attractive.

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1 hour ago, jack_sparrow said:

The potential for bringing IMOCA, AC, VOR and WS loosely into the same tent down the track is the masterstroke of this announcement today. A Gamechanger.

 

There is no doubting the fact VOR are not sustainable on their own. Introducing other success stories from outside the mix makes sense and is worth a try. Still a lot of work to be done....................

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Seems like they've avoided the issue by straddling the fence. Just adding cost to the equipment, maintenance and logistics (though not crew or management) - not good for sponsors? A round the world multihull that can't pick it's weather window is doable but daunting. And there are fast monohulls nowdays, e.g. current VOR, Vendee, etc. - that might appeal to the post-Boomer generations that are staying away from sailing in droves. We'll see how this non-decision works, hope for the best.

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Interesting.

The IMOCA conversion should be interesting. 8 more mid pack boats. Low cost, for volatile values of low. ;)
At least the inport compromise is gone. That should add a bit of excitement.

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58 minutes ago, MidPack said:

Seems like they've avoided the issue by straddling the fence. Just adding cost to the equipment, maintenance and logistics (though not crew or management) - not good for sponsors? A round the world multihull that can't pick it's weather window is doable but daunting. And there are fast monohulls nowdays, e.g. current VOR, Vendee, etc. - that might appeal to the post-Boomer generations that are staying away from sailing in droves. We'll see how this non-decision works, hope for the best.

24 hr times indicate the VOR65 not exactly a clunker but won't beat a foiling 60. The Dongs 24 hr run of 540 nm would have given it the 24hr Mono World Record in 2005 taken by a V70 but still only a bees dick quicker two years ago and crewed than what a smaller foiling IMOCA 60, SH, can do today.

2015. VOR65 "Dongfeng" 540 nm or average 22.5 kts 

2017. IMOCA 60 "Hugo Boss"  536.81nm or average 22.36kts

Sorry can't quite see how a foiling 60' Mono is fence sitting and a non-decision with your speed argument that a foiling 60 is somehow slow compared to a VOR65 and a Open60? It will be quicker.

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The boat per se doesn't really make any difference. People don't really care whether the offshore part is done on 60ft monohulls or 100ft trimarans. The main issue with the VOR, as some pointed out correctly, is that the ROI isn't there, or at least it isn't as attractive as major, global sponsors would like it to be. So, being unable to increase the "R" part of the equation, they are left with the only viable option, to decrease the "I", thus increasing the ROI. That's simple math.

That's why:

1. The boats are leased and not bought. This significantly reduces the upfront payment a team has to make in order to have a boat. Sponsors can even join later in the cycle because expenses will be spread out over a longer period of time.

2. The foiling monohull is faster than the current VO boat, which can shave off a number of days from the offshore legs. You can then shorten the duration of the whole event by maybe a month, a 10% reduction in an event that lasts 10 months.

3. The introduction of the flying catamaran show is a boost to the hospitality part of the teams. Actually, for a global multinational such as SCA, the corporate hospitality program was crazy in Alicante. They had close to 5,000 guests in the week prior to the start. Likewise, for any global giant, this type of entertainment for guests, clients, potential clients, employees, VIP's, etc is extremely important. Take the example of Abu Dhabi as well. When the sponsorship was carried out by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, the VOR made perfect sense. The AD name was splattered all around the world and during the stopover, thousands of people flocked to the city, filling Etihad airplane seats, hotels, restaurants, and stores. When the Abu Dhabi Sports Council took over, their goal was completely different and all those millions could be spent more effectively, building a local youth sports program for example. Thus, instead of reducing the duration of the VOR, the days saved from the introduction of a faster offshore boat could be added in the form of more "in-shore" racing. This can increase the value for a stopover city that pays €5 million for an event that lasts maybe a week, quite an expensive proposition. So, you can make the offshore legs shorter and the stopovers longer and, maybe, add daily regattas, with dedicated in-shore crews.    

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1 hour ago, jack_sparrow said:

Sorry can't quite see how a foiling 60' Mono is fence sitting and a non-decision with your speed argument that a foiling 60 is somehow slow compared to a VOR65 and a Open60? It will be quicker.

Because inshore racing will be now be on multihulls. After leading the public to think they were considering offshore multihulls, "deciding" to have two completely different boats for inshore vs offshore for the first time in VOR history qualifies as "fence sitting" to me.

Please remind me where I said anything about the relative speeds of various monohull options? They could've changed that design/format without adding multihulls.

If you were a potential sponsor, and now you're confronted with two boats and the associated costs, maintenance and logistics, would you be more or less likely to sign on for a VOR campaign? If it pans out great, I'm not rooting against the sport.

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Turner spewing  the usual corporate crap. 

"At the same time, the commercial offering has so many extra elements added to it making it a powerful business transformation platform. We remain one of the few global, professional, world-class sporting events with a great commercial package that goes with it, with an outstanding Business to Business product, along with a rich heritage and strong consumer, media and employee activation options, much of it built into the campaigns."

And they are dreaming about running it every two years when they are struggling to get boats on the line this year. 

How long before Volvo management figure it out and spend their money on something worthwhile. 

 

Long live the Vendee every four years. 

 

 

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After watching the VG it seemed a logical step to take that boat and merge it into the overall RTW pro racing circuit.  Down the road there may be an ever lower cost of entry into the VG and the folks of SA can stop bitching about how much better the IMOCAs are to the VO boats since they'll be the same boats.  I think it will be interesting to watch a crewed IMOCA foiler (I figure smaller crews as well), but as we saw with VG, one snap of a foil and that team's chances are mud for any good placement in that leg (Assuming VOR allows them to replace it in-port).

As to the foiling cats for in-port...no thanks.  Not interested and it takes away from the sense of starting and finishing all racing with the same boat.  Crews have to change style of sailing which may not help build overall skills and watching a set of multis zooming around, long runs to avoid tacks....ugh.  I find it a cheap toss to the speed demons who cream in their pants spending time watching a boat go fast in a straight line.  

How this keeps the overall cost of the race down is beyond me.  Two boats, and someone suggested a dedicated in-port team, wtf?  I'm not supporting a sponsor splashed piece of plastic, I'm supporting the meat bags sitting on it so the idea of switching out crews as well as boats just sucks.  If they allowed dedicated crews off shore vs in-port then please just take "Life at the extreme" out of the equation.

I got no question to Mr. Turner, but a statement, when you try to please a crowd, please try to take a look at the size vs the noise.

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26 minutes ago, bucc5062 said:

As to the foiling cats for in-port...no thanks.  Not interested and it takes away from the sense of starting and finishing all racing with the same boat.  

Because we saw so much short tacking and tacking duals with the 70's and 65's. 
I've raced a VOR 70 inshore( Il Monstro), and minimizing tacks is important. 
And given a blank slate to design an inshore foiling cat, we are likely to see something capable of foiling upwind, if not pulling off foiling tacks. Remember that just a few years ago, foiling gybes were an accomplishment in AC boats, Moths and A class cats. The progression is there. 

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4 minutes ago, yoyoboy said:

Because we saw so much short tacking and tacking duals with the 70's and 65's. 
I've raced a VOR 70 inshore( Il Monstro), and minimizing tacks is important. 
And given a blank slate to design an inshore foiling cat, we are likely to see something capable of foiling upwind, if not pulling off foiling tacks. Remember that just a few years ago, foiling gybes were an accomplishment in AC boats, Moths and A class cats. The progression is there. 

From what I read above, they are using the M32s so no blank slate there.  As this is opinion I'll keep it simple, for me, I have no love watching foiling multi's race around in a bathtub.  I use to sail a multi hull.  I loved the speed, the thrills (and spills), but when it came time to race, I hated it enough that one day I got rid of it and want back to monohulls.  SO for me, Turner turns me off the VOR, but I guess he think it will turn on the next generation and good luck with that.  Most of them can't pick their head out of a screen long enough to pay attention to anything, much less a speed boat with a sail.

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5 minutes ago, bucc5062 said:

From what I read above, they are using the M32s so no blank slate there.  As this is opinion I'll keep it simple, for me, I have no love watching foiling multi's race around in a bathtub.  I use to sail a multi hull.  I loved the speed, the thrills (and spills), but when it came time to race, I hated it enough that one day I got rid of it and want back to monohulls.  SO for me, Turner turns me off the VOR, but I guess he think it will turn on the next generation and good luck with that.  Most of them can't pick their head out of a screen long enough to pay attention to anything, much less a speed boat with a sail.

The cats are being opened up to a design tender process starting today at between 32 and 50 feet.  From front page...

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IIRC M32s this round for VIP sailing.

A matched set of this years AC boats would be funny. - Not feasible but funny

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1 hour ago, bucc5062 said:

After watching the VG it seemed a logical step to take that boat and merge it into the overall RTW pro racing circuit.  Down the road there may be an ever lower cost of entry into the VG and the folks of SA can stop bitching about how much better the IMOCAs are to the VO boats since they'll be the same boats.  I think it will be interesting to watch a crewed IMOCA foiler (I figure smaller crews as well), but as we saw with VG, one snap of a foil and that team's chances are mud for any good placement in that leg (Assuming VOR allows them to replace it in-port).

As to the foiling cats for in-port...no thanks.  Not interested and it takes away from the sense of starting and finishing all racing with the same boat.  Crews have to change style of sailing which may not help build overall skills and watching a set of multis zooming around, long runs to avoid tacks....ugh.  I find it a cheap toss to the speed demons who cream in their pants spending time watching a boat go fast in a straight line.  

How this keeps the overall cost of the race down is beyond me.  Two boats, and someone suggested a dedicated in-port team, wtf?  I'm not supporting a sponsor splashed piece of plastic, I'm supporting the meat bags sitting on it so the idea of switching out crews as well as boats just sucks.  If they allowed dedicated crews off shore vs in-port then please just take "Life at the extreme" out of the equation.

I got no question to Mr. Turner, but a statement, when you try to please a crowd, please try to take a look at the size vs the noise.

Intent is for same teams to race inshore and offshore, with maybe one switch-in guy that would need to do at least one offshore leg.  But it's all quite open.  Biggest change is overall number of people...not a lot of meat bags left!

 

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32 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Quote

and I don't think inport foiling catamarans have any relevance to an Offshore Race

To Ian Walker...thank you

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Just now, bucc5062 said:

To Ian Walker...thank you

Can you please copy and paste the whole IW comment?  I'm not on FB.  Thanks Bucc.

 

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41 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Spot on if you ask me

 

Ian Walker Not sure I agree - we don't know where the race will start or end, what the route is or even when the race will be. IMOCA Masters has been a flop since its inception and I don't think inport foiling catamarans have any relevance to an Offshore Race. The worst bit is that the race is no longer fully crewed and as crew numbers go down so do opportunities for young sailors and sailors in general. The VOR has been turned into a commercial roadshow like the AC and I think you should ignore your history and tradition at your own peril. Having said that they had to do something and I admire their ambition!

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So, just thinking about the new boat. 

Fits within the IMOCA 60 rules nearly.  Interesting to compare.

As the actual rules go, the differences are not startling.  IMOCA prohibits adjustable elements on foils.  IMOCA maximum draft is 500mm shorter.  That is going to be a significant difference. Converting to an IMOCA would need the new class defined keel fin anyway, so changing the draft is no big deal anyway.  It would appear that the mast tube is not IMOCA 60 legal either. So a conversion minimally would require a new mast and new keel fin. New mast isn't going to make one a terrific bargain for a mid-range IMOCA entrant.

Comparing with the latest Hugo Boss, the new VO60 has 300mm less beam, is 500kg heavier, and the mast is 1m shorter. 

The question that comes with this is the robustness of the new platform.  Only 500kg heavier than a current top line IMOCA 60 is not exactly going to make the new boat have the level of bulletproof robustness we have with the VO65. Still half a ton of carbon can go a long way carefully allocated. One assumes a great deal has been learnt from the VO65 as to what parts were overbuilt, so we can hope that the new boat won't be a return to the fragile builds of the VO70. But there is a hell of a lot of mass vanishing out of the boat. relative to the VO65.

Comparing with the VO65 we get:

4.5 tons lighter  (Over 1/3rd)
300mm deeper draft
About 10% more sail area
100mm less beam
Deck spreaders (at least as shown in the pic.)
and of course foils.

Some changes relative to the IMOCA60 are probably just as much experience learned as anything else. But the new boat will be stiffer. 

 

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1 minute ago, ModernViking said:

Spot on if you ask me

 

Ian Walker Not sure I agree - we don't know where the race will start or end, what the route is or even when the race will be. IMOCA Masters has been a flop since its inception and I don't think inport foiling catamarans have any relevance to an Offshore Race. The worst bit is that the race is no longer fully crewed and as crew numbers go down so do opportunities for young sailors and sailors in general. The VOR has been turned into a commercial roadshow like the AC and I think you should ignore your history and tradition at your own peril. Having said that they had to do something and I admire their ambition!

Dead on indeed.

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3 hours ago, MidPack said:

Because inshore racing will be now be on multihulls. After leading the public to think they were considering offshore multihulls, "deciding" to have two completely different boats for inshore vs offshore for the first time in VOR history qualifies as "fence sitting" to me. First time in history????They only started the in-port race shit 4 editions ago.

Please remind me where I said anything about the relative speeds of various monohull options? They could've changed that design/format without adding multihulls. Sorry I misunderstood where you said "And there are fast monohulls nowdays, e.g. current VOR"

If you were a potential sponsor, and now you're confronted with two boats and the associated costs, maintenance and logistics, would you be more or less likely to sign on for a VOR campaign? If it pans out great, I'm not rooting against the sport.

I now understand what your saying and tend to agree that it lacked balls and they should have kept it to one boat. I never got into the in-ports unless there in person though I understand their importance for engaging with the persons of the host city/country. Trouble for VOR they are a bit too early in design evolution to go foiling multi into the southern ocean right now, yet they didn't want to be seen ignoring multi's for a whole lot of reasons. You see no relevance in the in-port multi's, I have never seen any relevance for in-port races in a offshore race, other than the one above. 

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I wonder how well the offshore foiling mono skill set of the skippers and crew translates to inshore foiling cats?  Imagine coming off a Southern Ocean leg, pounded for weeks on end (as the latest IMOCA's gave their skippers a beating) and having to finesse a fussy little foiling cat around a tight inshore course.  

Does this mean splitting the training time between the two platforms?  I'm guessing both boats will require a great deal of training to get it done well if the AC and Vendee are proof.  It took many months to get up to speed on the VO65's last edition and some teams were still catching up mid race.

 

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7 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

The potential for bringing IMOCA, AC, VOR and WS loosely into the same tent down the track is the masterstroke of this announcement today. A Gamechanger.

 

Why do I get the feeling they are screwing them all up more than making any of them better.  The further away from OD the more interesting the racing is, the more value to the sponsors, even if it costs more.  They can go out and have a feet race of existing Cal 49s for next to nothing, but how many people will want to watch?  A hell of a lot of people used to care about the Volvo, and sponsors participated.  How's that going for them lately?  The AC.... getting less and less interesting, even though the boats are blazing fast.  IMOCA is very arguably the most interesting and successful right now.... are they OD????

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5 minutes ago, GauchoGreg said:

 IMOCA is very arguably the most interesting and successful right now.... are they OD????

Pretty close.. Box Rule plus OD masts and keels

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10 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

Pretty close.. Box Rule plus OD masts and keels

Not even close to OD (in IMOCA).  Still wide variety of boats, some older boats that had been redone and were competitive with very different designs, new boats with significantly differing hulls & foils, etc.... made much more interesting.  Substantial differences between the top 3 boats, and very interesting where they performed differently. 

After being an avid follower of the Volvo, I could not have cared less during the last one.  The AC has gone WAY too far down the OD road.  It is the heights of ignorance to ignore that the bottom line is impacted by BOTH cost AND income.  They are disregarding income that is enhanced by design competition and big powerful dynamic/diverse boats in favor of little boats (small crews) and OD.  Yawn.  I will just focus on the Ultim (and even they were stupid with their effort to keep their constrain boat size.... kudos to Gitana to say screw them), where we see many boats recently built (Macif, Sodebo-rebuilt), under construction (Gitana & Banque Populaire), and in the design stage (Sodebo & Idec-I believe).

Same can be said for IMOCA, lots of new boats designed and built over the past 10+ years.  Their focus has NOT been on keeping costs down (that's a loser's mindset), but rather making the racing exciting and improving the ability to follow the racing.

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10 hours ago, flaming2 said:

Do they feel that designing the boats so they could be IMOCA compliant will compromise what could be achieved performance wise in a 60ish foot foiling mono platform given a completely blank piece of paper? 

They won't be very good IMOCAs if they have to carry any sort of crew. Most newer IMOCAs have so little space inside that you'd find it hard to fit more than maybe 3 people on board.

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Ian Walker FB

"Ian Walker Not sure I agree - we don't know where the race will start or end, what the route is or even when the race will be...."

Volvo routes have never been announced 2 races out plus he knows full well that is commercialy impossible in advance of a new format announcement and some key ports being signed up.

Ian Walker tweet

"Not quite sure what to make of that @volvooceanrace announcement - one thing is clear though - sailing is all now short handed"

WTF..how is a VOR crew of 5 -7 plus a OBR short-handed??? Wouldn't like to do too much LD SH on this new thing...see pic below.

Walker is sounding more Pommy and poncey by the minute and scared of the French/IMOCA connection. Also maybe at odds with his employer views, the RYA, Great Britain national rep for World Sailing. 

 

m101201_crop32001_375x255_14951045524003.jpg

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2 hours ago, theadmiralty said:

Shut it down. Put everything into the Vendée Globe. 

Seriously.  If a boat splashes in the water and no one is there, does it make a sound?  I guess Volvo thinks it does, and that it is a good idea, so long as it is cheap and "sustainable".

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Surely from a long term sponsor hunting perspective (Read: Groupama, Macif, BP etc), wouldnt it be a wonderful thing to be able to walk in and say, "Right, with this new platform, over a 8 year contract, we can now do 2 x VOR races and 2 x VG, all in the one leased (but owned for all intents and purposes for returning teams) boat, plus you can appeal to the AC/Multihull fans with the inshore platform.

Has benefits for both the VOR and VG by offering more to the historic French VG obsession, and rest of the world participation in both events, without stepping on the dicks of each other.

 

That being said, there hasn't been anything stated from IMOCA on whether they are in support of this hybrid type plan...................?

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Last time I checked, sponsors only sponsor when they believe people care.  When "But it's cheap" is the best selling line, call me skeptical that this will be successful.

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Didn't they have two race villages, that leap frogged around the globe?

If so, will they need two sets of foiling multis, one for each village?

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53 minutes ago, Razorblade_Romance said:

Surely from a long term sponsor hunting perspective (Read: Groupama, Macif, BP etc), wouldnt it be a wonderful thing to be able to walk in and say, "Right, with this new platform, over a 8 year contract, we can now do 2 x VOR races and 2 x VG, all in the one leased (but owned for all intents and purposes for returning teams) boat, plus you can appeal to the AC/Multihull fans with the inshore platform.

Has benefits for both the VOR and VG by offering more to the historic French VG obsession, and rest of the world participation in both events, without stepping on the dicks of each other.

 

That being said, there hasn't been anything stated from IMOCA on whether they are in support of this hybrid type plan...................?

+1

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Good chats with Turner and then Bicey, have one more perspective to get before publishing the first SA Podcast in a while. Thanks for the questions!

 

 

 

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What's the logic behind trying to copy elements of exisiting comps? 

So the Volvo is now the Open 60 + MC32s, where's the common thread between mono ocean legs and multi inports?

Has very 'meh' feel about it.

   

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14 hours ago, southerncross said:

Like the T-Rudders.  That's new for an offshore mono, no?

Not if you think a mini fits that description.

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9 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Good chats with Turner and then Bicey, have one more perspective to get before publishing the first SA Podcast in a while. Thanks for the questions!

When may "in a while" be Tonto???

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I'm curious how the conversion will play out, if ever.

Keel, mast, sails, all other appendages. Out with most of the winch and steering mechanics. Layout changes on the aft deck. 
Like the Vestas repair job, minus the hull. The more I think about it the more it sounds like "Why do the optimum 62 foot boat if we can life with the IMOCA box." than "Yay! Best idea ever!"

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RIP Volvo ,trying to be many things and not get to the bottom of the problem is  ridiculous. So as we have seen what happens when a foil breaks  and you are pushed to the back or retire on that leg, not good for sponsors . Then we have cat inshore round the cans sailing? WTF.  It is suppose to be a Ocean race . Take a leaf out of the Class 40 . Simply design a fast  ocean boat and make it for four up.You want numbers .Sponsors could have three boats per team if the boat is right,and it currently is not.Oh and that is for potato head Mark Turner. Speak next year ,Adios.

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VOR has completely lost the plot. They went from being one of the strongest sailing competitions in the world to nothing and they have no clue as to how to get it back. 

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Want to make the VOR interesting again?

Fuck the legs...
Make it non-stop without assistance. 
Allow stops, but no assistance when stopped and no crew changes.
Limit the crew numbers.

All this stopping in Asia to please sponsors pisses me off.
Is it a race or a world fucking tour.
 

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12 hours ago, Rushman said:

Didn't they have two race villages, that leap frogged around the globe?

If so, will they need two sets of foiling multis, one for each village?

Probably.
While that may not sound very sustainable, they are comming down hard on bottled water... :ph34r:

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4 hours ago, Speng said:

VOR has completely lost the plot. They went from being one of the strongest sailing competitions in the world to nothing and they have no clue as to how to get it back. 

Too right.  The essence of it is lost.  The stuff of dreams.  The heroics, the unknown, the adventure and the danger.  It was a good plot.  But lets face it. The novelty has worn off.  How many times can you race around the world, whichever venue, before it becomes blasé to most people.  Another broken record?  Who cares.  Faster boats?  Bigger Boats?  All female teams.  Mixed teams.  Trained monkeys.  Meh.  All the once great adventures have become things to check off the bucket list.  

I don't envy Turner et al.  How do you keep the traveling circus going when so much is compromised to satisfy so few.  Kind of reminds me of Buffalo Bills Wild West Show in it's final days.  From Wikipedia:

"Easterners were eager to enjoy the thrill and danger of the west, and in this way it was made possible to do so without the risks and consequences that came along with the real west. The Wild West shows satisfied their cravings for adventure"

On it's decline:  "The Lussiure New of England predicted “The Business will degenerate into the hands of men devoid of Buffalo Bill’s exalted simplicity, and much more eager to finger the shillings of the public than to shake the hand of Mother Nature.

 

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31 minutes ago, southerncross said:

Too right.  The essence of it is lost.  The stuff of dreams.  The heroics, the unknown, the adventure and the danger.  It was a good plot.  But lets face it. The novelty has worn off.  How many times can you race around the world, whichever venue, before it becomes blasé to most people.  Another broken record?  Who cares.  Faster boats?  Bigger Boats?  All female teams.  Mixed teams.  Trained monkeys.  Meh.  All the once great adventures have become things to check off the bucket list.  

I don't envy Turner et al.  How do you keep the traveling circus going when so much is compromised to satisfy so few.  Kind of reminds me of Buffalo Bills Wild West Show in it's final days.  From Wikipedia:

"Easterners were eager to enjoy the thrill and danger of the west, and in this way it was made possible to do so without the risks and consequences that came along with the real west. The Wild West shows satisfied their cravings for adventure"

On it's decline:  "The Lussiure New of England predicted “The Business will degenerate into the hands of men devoid of Buffalo Bill’s exalted simplicity, and much more eager to finger the shillings of the public than to shake the hand of Mother Nature.

 

Oh for pete's sake, it's a race.  With that attitude why do people bother to go to car races, they are just so blase.  No unknowns. no heroics. Where's the novelty.  yet they keep coming back and watching.  Bitching when things change, but still finding something substantial...until they don't.

There is nothing wrong with the VOR, it is your view of it that has changed...or perhaps fossilized.  I'grant to I have a little of that with this stupid ass decision to switch boats in-port, but skipping that for a moment, it is a boat race and there is still unknowns (DFRT losing a mast), still danger, SCA's multiple chinese gybes, still heroics (Vestas on the reefs, getting crew off safely in the dark).  It's just some wise folk thought maybe it would be better if boats stopped breaking so easily, people maybe getting killed/seriously injured less likely.

If you don't like it, move on for there are other options.  I find the current Corporate Cup (aka Armerica's Cup) a joke and for the msot part don't give a shit about it.  I use to love following that race.  Maybe it was Coutts, maybe even the big man himself that started the ball to ruin, but instead of going onto AC threads and bitching, I just don't.

If I could do one thing to the future VOR it would be to convince Mark to turn away from this asinine multi-hull approach for if it comes to fruition, I'll take my own advice for foiling cats do not belong in a RTW race, even if it has stops. 

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Bucc,  its curious to me how selective you are at recognizing the demise of some venues such as the AC and even critical of the choice of multis for inshore but are unwilling or unable to accept that the changes to the Volvo are significant.  It wasn't always a boat race.  That's the point.  I applaud the innovation in boat design and look forward to seeing a crewed up foiling 60 screech down the SO.  But I'm not sure the racing will be that exciting given all the parameters still in place.  I'm with you on the inshore foiling multis though.  Pretty dull to watch.

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29 minutes ago, southerncross said:

Bucc,  its curious to me how selective you are at recognizing the demise of some venues such as the AC and even critical of the choice of multis for inshore but are unwilling or unable to accept that the changes to the Volvo are significant.  It wasn't always a boat race.  That's the point.  I applaud the innovation in boat design and look forward to seeing a crewed up foiling 60 screech down the SO.  But I'm not sure the racing will be that exciting given all the parameters still in place.  I'm with you on the inshore foiling multis though.  Pretty dull to watch.

Let's call it that exciting is a relative term and meet on the idea that Turner was smokin something when he thought multi's in-port was a good idea.

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Wake up you luddites...IMOCA just got a kiss, drawn into a tent and smacked in the same breath...the future for RTW mono sailing crewed and SH now looks very bright...despite what xenophobic ones like Ian Walker reakons. Go the T-Rudder and Volvo get off your arse sell more cars and trucks and auto them foils. Gamechanger.

 

IMG_20170521_004840.jpg

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Has all the signs of being the proverbial camel by comittee....and neither fish nor fowl.  Sincerely hope that pretty picture is not what they build, or pity the poorcrews.  Looks more like a vapourware punt to gauge the reactions.

question is though how are they going to get enough of them built in time as they were short last time around and are now more than 6 months behind.  And costs will be up there by the time they have a few bent foil sets as spares at eu300K a pop if the imoca foils were anything to go by. 

Plot and lost in so many ways:(

 

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Just plain strange, even the timing of the announcement before the current race starts. The hype over the announcement was impressive and then just wore us down until I couldn't take anymore. What's the recycling thing about, are they making them from plastic bottles retrieved from dolphins or something?

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I think it was generally understood that they really did need to get the announcement out before the next race start. They are quite serious about the possibility of reducing the race cycle to two years - which means only a bit over two years until the next start.  Teams and sponsors, both potential and current, need time to plan.

I guess part of the recycling is that they are keeping the VO-65s, and not either chainsawing them or selling them on the open market. (Which is a pity in a way, they would probably have made a great platform for building up a very solid and quick race boat.  Freed from the class rule one could remove most, if not all, of the designed in oddities.)

There is a significant thing happening here.  Despite continual whining from the peanut gallery, it is clear that the Volvo corporate venture that is responsible for the VOR has decided to invest significantly for the long term.  There is going to be a lot of cash tied up in the VOR soon.  By implication, those VO65s that are not currently owned by the VOR will be purchased back (the VOR contract always gave them the right to do this.)  Then they will build a fleet of new VO60s, which they will lease out.  The up-front cost of this isn't exactly small.  There are going to be many 10's of millions tied up in the VOR for some years. This is hardly the action of a corporate owner that is worried about the ROI.

Which brings us back to the core point of the race as it has evolved. The Volvo group has shifted from being an event organiser to being an event owner. This is indeed a huge shift in the nature of the race. But, worldwide, it isn't exactly an unusual step. It is the nature of the world we live in.  There is little doubt that the main focus of the VOR is now on B2B sponsors. The B2C sponsors are in the background.  This step is primarily why us mere punters feel perhaps a bit sidelined. There are scant few of us in the market for wind turbines, fleets of trucks, corporate insurance,  financial services, chemicals and coatings.  A few of these companies have consumer level products, but we don't see AkzoNobel's team branded as Dulux. That is because domestic consumers are not the target audience.

We could argue that the soul of the race is being diluted by these changes.  But the nature of sailing has changed anyway.

 

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3 hours ago, Ockaroo said:

Just plain strange, even the timing of the announcement before the current race starts.

Why strange??? Roughly same timing going back 25 odd years with relation to pending race that occurred with announcements of the W60, Open 70 and current VO65. That new boat design timing is a must have to allow sufficient timing to get some host ports/sponsors sorted either before or not to soon after the pending race finishing so a course announcement/some sponsors locked in for the following race and can be made accordingly while interest is still high. This following race planning stuff takes time and a lot of hard work before the current one even starts.

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I find their strategic, trickle feed news very frustrating to follow. 

 

If they gave me the keys I'd bring in 60 footers to keep cost under control, one design mast but otherwise design open, bring in IRC handicap as well as LH for additional variety & good resale of the boats. Teams own & build their own boats so that they aren't pigs (IRC & foils - OMG) Extremely strict sail regulations. No AIS. One substitute crew per team (barring disasters) Get some household sponsors involved, Coke Cola etc 

I can start Monday Mark. 

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I think this a silly move by Volvo, for one reason: future proofing. If they had gone multi, they could have relatively easily retrofitted the fleet for full foiling in the future when the tech was a bit more proven. With this, not really an option, though I'm optimistic the boats will sail well despite some of the lack of elegance in the renderings. I think the pitchpole issue is a bit overblown, especially at this level, as they are professionals and plenty of boats have done RTW sailing non stop without pitchpoles. Yes, in the late 90's and early 2000's this was a real risk but I think today with C-boards and t-foil rudders it is a very manageable risk and no more dangerous than putting a balls to the walls foiling monohull deep in the southern ocean (as this is also unproven tech I may point out, the last vendee boats were semi foiling, not full). I suspect the stopovers played more of a roll than anything, along with Volvos deep tradition of monohulls.

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On 5/19/2017 at 10:51 AM, bucc5062 said:

Oh for pete's sake, it's a race.  With that attitude why do people bother to go to car races, they are just so blase.  No unknowns. no heroics. Where's the novelty.  yet they keep coming back and watching.  Bitching when things change, but still finding something substantial...until they don't.

There is nothing wrong with the VOR, it is your view of it that has changed...or perhaps fossilized.  I'grant to I have a little of that with this stupid ass decision to switch boats in-port, but skipping that for a moment, it is a boat race and there is still unknowns (DFRT losing a mast), still danger, SCA's multiple chinese gybes, still heroics (Vestas on the reefs, getting crew off safely in the dark).  It's just some wise folk thought maybe it would be better if boats stopped breaking so easily, people maybe getting killed/seriously injured less likely.

If you don't like it, move on for there are other options.  I find the current Corporate Cup (aka Armerica's Cup) a joke and for the msot part don't give a shit about it.  I use to love following that race.  Maybe it was Coutts, maybe even the big man himself that started the ball to ruin, but instead of going onto AC threads and bitching, I just don't.

If I could do one thing to the future VOR it would be to convince Mark to turn away from this asinine multi-hull approach for if it comes to fruition, I'll take my own advice for foiling cats do not belong in a RTW race, even if it has stops. 

" There is nothing wrong with the VOR, it is your view of it that has changed "????

 

Bullshit.  The VOR is what changed..... moving to OD was the change that sucked.  It led to boring ass follow-the-leader with boats that have no advantages or disadvantages in a race that was entirely based on boats with differences exploited and see their drawbacks. 

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