Panoramix

Next VOR on IMOCAs?

Recommended Posts

Yes, it sounds wacky but AFAIK Ouest France is quite reliable on sailing matters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks.  I posted it over here as well.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They talk every few years to each other, makes sense, but never expect to much from it. Different strokes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMOCA (an owners association) would never agree as it destroys the value of their current fleet, which has a dynamic second hand market. But sure, VOR could decide unilaterally to comply with the IMOCA rule (or try to as close as possible). New boats costs approx. 3-4 Mn EUR... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In theory it should increase the value of the boats as there will be more people needing one. Actually they might more be worried that some good boats will be transformed reducing the number of participants at the start of singlehanded races. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there's going to be cooperation, VOR is going to have to be restricted re number of boats it can build and ownership/lease rules. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What s so wrong with the VOR65? Even Witty has managed to turn the underpowered and weighty boat into a managble weapon around the Race Courage. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bump.

Talk to internationalize the class, the project under consideration to run the Volvo Ocean Race IMOCA is it in your opinion a good idea? 
For a team like mine, so we can run the Volvo Ocean Race with a small additional cost, but for a double performance, it is obviously a good idea . Hugo Boss, we regularly talk to participate in the Volvo, but the relationship between the costs and benefits was not enough so far, then, it might work. We have also re-signed a contract for four years with Hugo Boss it five months ago and when we discussed the matter, they were very excited by this prospect . And if the Volvo becomes IMOCA event, I think we'll get the skippers of the Volvo in the Vendée Globe, and unlike the Vendée Globe sailors go on the Volvo, it can only be positive. In my opinion, the two races do not compete , they tell different stories, they are really complementary, it is an important point. We must stop behaving as if we were all in competition. We are the only on water.

You said at Tip & Shaft / Connect as one of the obstacles to the development of the Vendée Globe is that it is managed by a company partly public, can you say more? 
The Vendée Globe should make efforts to internationalize. Organizers say they do, but in reality, this is not the case. I made half of all the Vendée Globe, so I am well placed to know! In France, the Vendée Globe has reached its limits : organizers say that 80% of French people know the race, so now to become bigger, go abroad. The Vendée Globe is a state property [mainly due to department, Ed], this is public money, and it always will be. The problem is that it is directed in the same way that a municipal council , with very heavy process. I do not think this is the right way to handle this is for me one of the biggest sporting events in the world. But I still want to emphasize that the people working for the Vendée Globe do a fantastic job. 

https://us12.campaign-archive.com/?u=1e692787e2c4cc3370813fca1&id=e8da4f384d

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, JeronimoII said:

Bruno Dubois sort of states here that it is decided that the next edition shall be run in two classes: IMOCA + VO65. If true, this would be revolutionary. 

http://www.voilesetvoiliers.com/course-regate/bruno-dubois-il-y-a-un-minimum-de-decence-a-avoir/

Read that.

Also heard that the VO65's will be sold.  SCA has been for sale for a while now.  Surely this will be the case.  Behind the design curve when they hit the water, they are way outdated at this point.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jackolantern said:

So what? They're paid for.

VOR owns them and leases them out.  Something like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, southerncross said:

VOR owns them and leases them out.  Something like that.

Only some of them. Teams own the rest. For instance Vestas/Alvimedica is not owned by Volvo.  But the point is that the boats were priced and leased in such a way that the investment would be recuperated after 2 years. So, regardless of their dated nature, and their perceived flaws, if you could get another lap out of the boats it would be a huge economic incentive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, jackolantern said:

if you could get another lap out of the boats it would be a huge economic incentive.

True. But it might begin to look like a Clipper race.  I think to maintain some interest in The Race the boats need to be relative to current designs.  

Also, a new breed of sponsors, such as Hugo Boss, might solve a cash flow problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, southerncross said:

True. But it might begin to look like a Clipper race.  I think to maintain some interest in The Race the boats need to be relative to current designs.  

Also, a new breed of sponsors, such as Hugo Boss, might solve a cash flow problem.

well, the current clipper 70 is currently on its third lap. I haven't seen or read anything about the next generation though. these boats normally do four laps and are then replaced. I'd be interested to see what will happen next, and when, with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An IMOCA 60 with 4 crew would be interesting for the Volvo.  Allow them to use an auto pilot. It would keep the weight down to maintain performance, and enable the boats to be used for two classes.  The boats are much more interesting technically, and I would be happy to never see another video of sailors being washed off the grinders.  I have done several double handed races and enjoy the fact that both crew need to be able to drive, trim, navigate, and manage sail changes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, festus said:

Allow them to use an auto pilot

And do away with all the great helmsman/women?  Never happen.  And you could argue, a hand driven boat with driver rotations every 30 - 120 mins is faster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, southerncross said:

And do away with all the great helmsman/women?  Never happen.  And you could argue, a hand driven boat with driver rotations every 30 - 120 mins is faster.

Alex Thomson reckons he's faster than HB's auto pilot - for about 90 minutes, I think he said. No need for AP's when fully crewed, IMO.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vs. scow bows. Let's open the design a bit more. Seems like the innovation comes in the mini class.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 04/04/2018 at 11:10 PM, Sailbydate said:

Alex Thomson reckons he's faster than HB's auto pilot - for about 90 minutes, I think he said. No need for AP's when fully crewed, IMO.

Would you say the IMOCA is fully crewed with 5 sailors?  Add an OBR and you have 6 people on an IMOCA, blurgh!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Potter said:

Would you say the IMOCA is fully crewed with 5 sailors?  Add an OBR and you have 6 people on an IMOCA, blurgh!


I think the reduction of crew is probably some would be sponsor's push for cost reduction - but really makes so little sense. People want to connect with the sailors - the fewer you have, the more burden it is on individuals to open up and many are simply not built for that. And what will they do on a long equator crossing or southern ocean leg when someone gets sick or has an issue? 

Doesn't make a whole lot of sense IMO on a OD class to create even more difficulty when the is already hard enough. Because it is OD, I'd say give the sailors more sensible comforts - Eberspaecher to keep the boat dry, reliability/robustness over lightest and greatest. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was reported in February in the french tip&shaft

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Volvo Ocean Race looks to IMOCA Class

Published on April 6th, 2018 

It’s been a bumpy Volvo Ocean Race. For those into superstitions, this is the 13th edition. A couple MOBs, two race-related fatalities, collisions, dismastings, awkward course through Asia, retirements. And when faced with adversity, the race reporting gets silent. 

Maybe these are all tremors following the earthquake September 2017, less than one month before the start, when it was announced that Volvo management was pulling the handbrake on the ambitious plans for the future by CEO Mark Turner, and that Turner was out the door.

Center to those ambitious plans was what boat would be used. 

In May 2017 it was announced how a foil-assisted 60-foot monohull would be used for the ocean legs and an ultra-fast 32-50 foot flying catamaran for use inshore. But that was scraped, and it has been just crickets ever since about when and what would be the 14th edition.

Perhaps with a view that the current path of the Volvo Ocean Race is not sustainable, news comes from the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA) that the Volvo Ocean Race is interested in the IMOCA 60.

This 60-foot boat is what’s used in all the premiere short-handed races, which is highlighted in what some contend to now to be the ultimate offshore event, the Vendée Globe, a single-handed non-stop yacht race around the world without assistance.

The IMOCA skippers voted in favour of the possible addition of the Volvo Ocean Race to the IMOCA race calendar. Those involved in the class have agreed in principle to allowing the next crewed round the world race with stopovers to be raced aboard 60-foot IMOCAs. It is now up to the Board to continue talks with the Volvo Ocean Race.

Antoine Mermod, President of the IMOCA class: “In general, the skippers voted massively in favour of bringing these competitions together. Discussions will now continue in the weeks ahead between the IMOCA class and the VOR, so the basic concept can be drawn up for this partnership. The skippers really want to move in that direction and we are ready. The ball is now in the court of the VOR…”

Said IMOCA skipper Boris Herrmann after the AGM, “If the two most prestigious offshore races (Vendée Globe and Volvo) are raced on IMOCAs, it will be a major help in increasing the popularity of the class internationally and setting up new projects will be even more attractive to sponsors.”

Nicolas Lunven, a renowned solo sailor on the French scene who is on Dee Caffari’s Turn the Tide on Plastic, sees this as a step forward. 

“This boat is far from being a marvel,” says Lunven of the Volvo Ocean 65. “It is heavy, but not very stiff in what regards sail area. It must be sailed with lots of sail area for sailing fast, but it does not have enough righting moment. When the sea is strong, it is hard to steer, and heels too much. It is too difficult to get into speed. It is necessary all the time to make sail changes. The center of gravity of this boat is high, so it is unstable. It is very tiring to maneuver. You need a big crew.”

Waiting now for news from the Volvo Ocean Race….

http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2018/04/06/volvo-ocean-race-looks-imoca-class/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This could be a big help for the VOR as well.

More efficient radars to cut the risk of collisions

Improving the safety of the boats is a major concern for the IMOCA class. A new rule has been put in place to install more efficient radar systems on board from the start of the 2018 Route du Rhum. The aim is to give solo sailors a better watch system to reduce as much as possible any risk of collision.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sustainability fits well with the VOR model:

As for the decision concerning renewable energy, it is taking things in the right direction. Saying that it is possible to complete a round the world race producing one’s own energy without diesel is very inspiring. By encouraging clean energy, we are contributing in our own little way to solving a much bigger problem, which affects all of our societies. It is in the spirit of the IMOCA class to search for innovation all the time in every area. Personally, I have a partnership with the BMW brand and they are doing lots of research into batteries for hybrid and electric cars. We are working on the installation of these batteries on my IMOCA and the decision taken about renewable energy at the annual general meeting will help me a lot. We hope to have the system up and running for the 2019 season.”

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can see  the VOR considering 2 skippers, like the BWR, and an OBR who will probably have more comms duties. Maybe IMOCA will even use the stopover race to train and test how shore-based routers might fit. So many possibilities.

Can't see autopilots being banned, though. Will be different, but interesting.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wheels or tiller?  Or the ability to swap them out.  Hand steered for the Volvo has to be a must.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, southerncross said:

Wheels or tiller?  Or the ability to swap them out.  Hand steered for the Volvo has to be a must.

So many possibilities. IMOCA skippers must be tempted by the chance to get out of their caves hunched most of the time over a computer and get out steering, which is not really possible for solo sailing. 

Agree that the driving is a key VOR sailing skill. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some good possibilities, but I think I'd still like to see a fully crewed new boat, something bigger say 75 feet, IMOCA "like", foiling mono (no frog legs), say a little Commanche (with foils) or a bigger Hugo Boss with a T foil rudders.

All that said I certainly think IMOCA makes the VOR economically more viable. Getting sponsors for the edition seemed very difficult, and me thinks it's only going to get more difficult if you introduce a new boat. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Potter said:

Would you say the IMOCA is fully crewed with 5 sailors?  Add an OBR and you have 6 people on an IMOCA, blurgh!

I wouldn't advocate that. The IMOCA60's are 'fully crewed' with a solo sailor. They're optimised that way.

VOR needs to go back to a 70' box rule, IMO.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sailbydate said:

VOR needs to go back to a 70' box rule, IMO.

This would be ideal.  I think there would be a strong aftermarket for the boats just like the previous 70's continue to break records.

But I don't think it's going to happen. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One might conclude that a lot of smart insiders have thought about this for several race cycles and have concluded that new 70's would be completely economically futile. That ship has sailed. if you will.

IMOCAs with a mixed crew of 4-5 with hand steering would be nice as long as there were at least twice as many entries as now, so you still have a decent range of people. Which wouldn't be too hard perhaps since there are only seven boats this time and there are way more IMOCAs around. It would be about crew costs still but a single program would be cheaper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The VO65 is a truck--a platform for carrying all that media equipment.

Quote

The Volvo Ocean 65 is designed as a mobile production facility – complete with a dedicated media station below decks, fixed HD cameras and microphones, drones, and slow-mo, night vision and 360° cameras, all operated by the Onboard Reporter from an iPad, or even from Race HQ.

http://volvooceanracegoteborg.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Media-Guide-ENG-22.9.17_B.pdf

Gotta weigh a lot, and cost a ton. And was a key component  in the Vestas salvage operation last time.

5acc028753c1f_ScreenShot2018-04-09at6_16_33PM.png.49bb273d98c2f6afdcb81d2a9486a708.png

IMOCA sponsors drooling over the possibilities? Designers trying to figure out how to reinforce so the bolt-ons don''t fly into the cockpit crew when the bow stuffs it at speed?

Whatever happens, the media machine platform will be part of it.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my 2 cents:

a light weight IMOCA optimized for solo racing would probably get beaten to death by a crew fairly quickly and would have to be significantly heavier to survive. imo, fkn' stupid idea, an Open 60 is very specifically it's own breed of boat, it doesn't belong in the VOR, and at this point in time, neither do foilers.

unless costs are the priority issue going forward, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to conclude that maybe a tightly restricted box rule 70 is an appropriate happy medium.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, 3to1 said:

unless costs are the priority issue going forward, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to conclude that maybe a tightly restricted box rule 70 is an appropriate happy medium.

The return of the beast (that doesn't break).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there was a vote, I would be voting for exactly that. A much more tightly restricted and heavier built 70. Or a OD 70. I just can't imagine having a crew with the 100% effort 100% of the time ethos of say MAPFRE driving an IMOCA 60. They would break it half way down the first leg. Then they would fix what broke as best they could, and wreck it again, but worse. 

Whilst I can understand the desire to reduce costs by reducing crew, I just don't see this as being compatible with the VOR in a sustainable manner. The logical progression of the current trend will be to go to two handed VOR and single handed Vendée on the same boats. The VOR needs to differentiate itself from the Vendée, not try to mimic it.

A 70, built to the same standards as the VO65, but without the deliberate performance compromises, and taking into account the lessons currently being learnt and making the boat a bit more human friendly, both inside and out. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Left to right,  Charles, Bouwe , Nico and Xabi

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

Skippers awaiting sponsorship for their Box Rule 70.

15233320521371769371567.jpg

Plenty of life in them yet, too. But maybe can't vouch for the quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Skippers awaiting sponsorship for their Box Rule 70.

15233320521371769371567.jpg

Sad, but accurate. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of volume in the bow.  Coach roof could slide forward on a Volvo type.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Credit to Stief:  Interview with Bouwe.

We are talking right now to make the Volvo Imoca, what do you think of this idea? 
I am very divided on that . I think today, if we do nothing, the Volvo is not sure to leave. Afterwards, if you make an Imoca to do solo, it may not be strong enough to make the crew, or you will have to really adapt the way you sail; and conversely, if we make an Imoca to make the crew then the Vendée, it will not be sufficiently optimized, so not win to make the Vendée. But I think that economically, it can be a good solution to make boats for the Volvo and then use them on the Vendée to make projects, even if they will not necessarily win. 

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=auto&langpair=auto|en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fus12.campaign-archive.com%2F%3Fu%3D1e692787e2c4cc3370813fca1%26id%3D500355b15b

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, southerncross said:

[Rouxell] it can be a good solution to make boats for the Volvo and then use them on the Vendée to make projects, even if they will not necessarily win. 

Rouxell might be onto something here. If the VO-Imoca is optimized for crew and Media, sponsors should be attracted to a good media platform strong enough to go around without breaking, and  there is no pressure to back a winner. 

Win-win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it really true that the IMOCA 60s are faster on balance than the Volvo 65s? 

I seem to recall that Hugo Boss got pretty well pants by the whole Volvo fleet in the last Fastnet.

SHC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Steve Clark said:

Is it really true that the IMOCA 60s are faster on balance than the Volvo 65s? 

I seem to recall that Hugo Boss got pretty well pants by the whole Volvo fleet in the last Fastnet.

SHC

The Imoca60 is extremely optimized for the Vendee, so is probably slower in coastal races. Also HB didn't sail very tactically upwind in the Fastnet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Steve Clark said:

Is it really true that the IMOCA 60s are faster on balance than the Volvo 65s? 

I seem to recall that Hugo Boss got pretty well pants by the whole Volvo fleet in the last Fastnet.

SHC

VO65s a bit faster. And I think Dongfeng's numbers were higher in the latest Leg 7.

Quote

The Hugo Boss skipper has reclaimed his crown as king of speed by covering 536.81 miles in 24 hours, maintaining an astonishing average pace of 22.36 knots. This takes the record back from Francois Gabart, set in the last edition of the Vendée Globe at 534.48M or an average speed of 22.27kts, in 2012. Thomson himself held the title of fastest man in an IMOCA60 before that, having set a 468-mile record in 2003 which stood unbeaten for almost a decade.

http://www.yachtingworld.com/news/alex-thomson-sets-24-hour-speed-record-in-vendee-globe-sprint-finish-103874

Quote

Team Brunel took the Omega 24 hour speed record for Leg 3 on December 25, 2017. Team Brunel took the 24 hour record for this Southern Ocean stage with a distance of 538.1 nautical miles, and an average speed of 22.4 knots.

http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2017/12/27/24-hour-speed-record-team-brunel/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, southerncross said:

Credit to Stief:  Interview with Bouwe.

We are talking right now to make the Volvo Imoca, what do you think of this idea? 
I am very divided on that . I think today, if we do nothing, the Volvo is not sure to leave. Afterwards, if you make an Imoca to do solo, it may not be strong enough to make the crew, or you will have to really adapt the way you sail; and conversely, if we make an Imoca to make the crew then the Vendée, it will not be sufficiently optimized, so not win to make the Vendée. But I think that economically, it can be a good solution to make boats for the Volvo and then use them on the Vendée to make projects, even if they will not necessarily win. 

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=auto&langpair=auto|en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fus12.campaign-archive.com%2F%3Fu%3D1e692787e2c4cc3370813fca1%26id%3D500355b15b

I think in an earlier thread there were some concerned voices regarding the market price of old boats, in case there was an influx of many  "volvo imocas" into the class

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, jonas a said:

I think in an earlier thread there were some concerned voices regarding the market price of old boats, in case there was an influx of many  "volvo imocas" into the class

Yes,  and in post#6 above

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the chances are that an IMOCA 60 with  4to 6 crew plus associated food, water and safety gear is actually going to be slower than the current 65s. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Potter said:

So the chances are that an IMOCA 60 with  4to 6 crew plus associated food, water and safety gear is actually going to be slower than the current 65s. 

Not to mention the severely compromised margin of safety. People who love to shit on the 65s will be the same ones lamenting how the stranded IMOCA needs outside assistance because there isn't enough diesel to make water for the crew, power the electronics and motor to safety.

Then the small crew adversely impacts women participation, development of future young sailors, and the event suffers some more. A bunch of unintended consequences by going to the IMOCAs. 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, stief said:

Rouxell might be onto something here. If the VO-Imoca is optimized for crew and Media, sponsors should be attracted to a good media platform strong enough to go around without breaking, and  there is no pressure to back a winner. 

Win-win.

You beat me to it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The marketing ROI on winning is probably very marginal - good marketing is good publicity. From the last edition, I think ironically Vestas, SCA accomplished that far more than Abu Dhabi. Outside of the circle that closely follows - ppl remember Vestas and SCA. I think part of my concern about the IMOCA or even the VO60 concept that Turner pushed - fewer crews = harder to market. 

There are good men sailors. There are good women sailors. There  good sailors who are also good medics, boat mechanics, etc. When we whittle down the crew - it starts to get to the point where every person has to be so strongly specialized but also generalist - you'll increasingly risk finding personalities that make it interesting on the coverage standpoint.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Miffy said:

Not to mention the severely compromised margin of safety. People who love to shit on the 65s will be the same ones lamenting how the stranded IMOCA needs outside assistance because there isn't enough diesel to make water for the crew, power the electronics and motor to safety.

Then the small crew adversely impacts women participation, development of future young sailors, and the event suffers some more. A bunch of unintended consequences by going to the IMOCAs. 

Pros and cons to the whole idea.

1 hour ago, Potter said:

So the chances are that an IMOCA 60 with  4to 6 crew plus associated food, water and safety gear is actually going to be slower than the current 65s. 

Bogging an IMOCA 60 down and "stretching it on the rack" with a full crew would only increase loads on a boat that is optimized for  a lighter displacement.

On the smaller crew issue, maybe they could spread the teams out over two boats per team such as Ericsson I & II?  Just a thought.

I still favor a brand-new 70.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The down side for the IMOCA class is that this becomes a force counter to the bleeding edge development at the top end. If sponsors are more interested in media coverage and a boat that finishes than a boat that wins at all costs, the DNA of the class will change. 

Not clear that this is a good or a bad thing - but if IMOCA want to take the class wider than France, they will inevitably dilute what they have now. 

Right now it seems as if the IMOCA sponsors and VOR sponsors are poles apart. They get into the game for very different reasons. 

I fear that we risk seeing two different races, both with camels. Get it wrong and it could kill both. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fuck it. Keep the crews the same size and go to Imoca 60. In order to ensure the pre race clipboard safety requirements, things like rollover tests will have to be done w full crew down below.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

The down side for the IMOCA class is that this becomes a force counter to the bleeding edge development at the top end. If sponsors are more interested in media coverage and a boat that finishes than a boat that wins at all costs, the DNA of the class will change. 

Not clear that this is a good or a bad thing - but if IMOCA want to take the class wider than France, they will inevitably dilute what they have now. 

Right now it seems as if the IMOCA sponsors and VOR sponsors are poles apart. They get into the game for very different reasons. 

I fear that we risk seeing two different races, both with camels. Get it wrong and it could kill both. 

 

I think the saving grace with IMOCA is it is fundamentally a owner's guild - you have to own an IMOCA to have a say in it. And there's always push pull between top technology advancement, maintaining old fleet competitiveness, gradual improvements in safety  - got an older boat with no foils? It can be lighter. Got a new boat? Here's stricter safety requirements.

I think the problem we're seeing in the Volvo is fundamentally there are too many diverging voices with no real skin in the game. Ppl who want faster harder - they're either going to participate/follow it no matter what or don't give a shit, but will always bitch about VO65s not being faster than record chasing boats. Then you have ppl claiming that the sponsorship difficulties are caused by the one design (as if there are ppl just dying to fork over money to design/build a boat for a campaign). 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have to really question whether the Volvo, for all it's great history from Whitbread days and onwards, has finally had its time.

Right now, its a promotional vehicle that just happens to be a sort of minor yacht race, and keeps a few professionals on a payroll for a while.

In the early days it was an adventure into the unknown, it helped develop offshore racing yachts and technology, and was a real challenge to aspire to for all the young up and coming sailors.   No longer.  Still tough, but relevant it's not.

Amalgamate with the IMOCA lot and for a start it will suffer from the inbred politics in that arena and you can just see the resulting camel of a boat that is trying to cater for singlehanded or fully crewed racing.  Will be neither fish nor fowl and an uncompetitive 60 to boot.

IF Imoca would ever rethink it's whole rule environment then maybe you could fudge something together, but that's not going happen with all the vested interests that are running that class.

MT wanted to rule the offshore world and see where that got him, now the incumbent 60 crowd think they'll have a crack at it and no doubt eyeing the $$$$$$$$ they think they could make out of it.

It really is time to shake things up though, open up the design race again, and move the game along.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, GBH said:

It really is time to shake things up though, open up the design race again, and move the game along.

+ 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

2 minutes ago, Miffy said:

I think the saving grace with IMOCA is it is fundamentally a owner's guild

Good point about the owners guild. Which is partly why it seems so odd that they are buying into this idea. It has the same smell I have seen before of small groups suddenly seeing a much bigger game and wanting a piece. This often ends badly for everyone. 

Agree about the wide range of opinions from those with no skin in it. That of course includes all of us here :D  But we are allowed our opinions - both about what we would like to see, and also about what we fear may happen. 

I see a somewhat rudderless VOR seeking to leech on the success of the IMOCA class and its races, and a successful IMOCA class whose members have suddenly got grandiose ideas and are being seduced by the VOR into believing that the VOR can deliver them this vision. The ones with everything to lose in this are the IMOCA owners.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

Agree about the wide range of opinions from those with no skin in it. That of course includes all of us here :D  But we are allowed our opinions - both about what we would like to see, and also about what we fear may happen.

You think that dig was intended for anyone else?

Good discussion overall.  It's interesting that the skippers voted overwhelmingly for it.  Maybe some of the Vendee skippers that have done the Volvo offered something positive about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, southerncross said:

You think that dig was intended for anyone else?

Good discussion overall.  It's interesting that the skippers voted overwhelmingly for it.  Maybe some of the Vendee skippers that have done the Volvo offered something positive about it.

You're being too sensitive - folks with no skin in the game are ppl who say "I won't join unless xyz" but invariably don't join with a campaign anyway. There's folks trying to push a multihull campaign, I hope they don't succeed. 

 

 

13 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

 

Good point about the owners guild. Which is partly why it seems so odd that they are buying into this idea. It has the same smell I have seen before of small groups suddenly seeing a much bigger game and wanting a piece. This often ends badly for everyone. 

Agree about the wide range of opinions from those with no skin in it. That of course includes all of us here :D  But we are allowed our opinions - both about what we would like to see, and also about what we fear may happen. 

I see a somewhat rudderless VOR seeking to leech on the success of the IMOCA class and its races, and a successful IMOCA class whose members have suddenly got grandiose ideas and are being seduced by the VOR into believing that the VOR can deliver them this vision. The ones with everything to lose in this are the IMOCA owners.


I think the IMOCA folks are imagining an easier alternative than the now cancelled Barcelona. I think most IMOCAs can be comfortably situated for 3 - sailing with 3 makes sustained efforts so much easier and with autopilot, leg stops, existing food/part allocation for solo-round the world trip being consumed by 3 on a shorter leg = maintained performance.

With crewed event - sort of also gives younger skippers an opportunity to matriculate after finding success in the Minis or Figaro circuit. The biggest losers from an IMOCA Volvo will be the Kiwi/Aussie scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Miffy said:

I think the IMOCA folks are imagining an easier alternative than the now cancelled Barcelona. I think most IMOCAs can be comfortably situated for 3 - sailing with 3 makes sustained efforts so much easier and with autopilot, leg stops, existing food/part allocation for solo-round the world trip being consumed by 3 on a shorter leg = maintained performance.

If that's the case then it would be a far cry from what the Whitbread/Volvo was and is intended to be.  If the Volvo succumbs to this then I would agree with FV's earlier predictions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, stief said:

The VO65 is a truck--a platform for carrying all that media equipment.

http://volvooceanracegoteborg.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Media-Guide-ENG-22.9.17_B.pdf

Gotta weigh a lot, and cost a ton. And was a key component  in the Vestas salvage operation last time.

5acc028753c1f_ScreenShot2018-04-09at6_16_33PM.png.49bb273d98c2f6afdcb81d2a9486a708.png

IMOCA sponsors drooling over the possibilities? Designers trying to figure out how to reinforce so the bolt-ons don''t fly into the cockpit crew when the bow stuffs it at speed?

Whatever happens, the media machine platform will be part of it.

 

Current retail prices, no airtime included
FB500 system ~$13.5k
FB250 system ~$8.8k
FB150 system ~$5.5k
Mini-C system, GMDSS certified ~$2.7k, less than half without cert

The VOR uses 1 FB500, 2(?) FB250 and 2(?) Mini-C. + a portable system ($2.4k) in the grab bag.

The portable is from official noticeboard document - which in turn is from July 2016 for the old antenna park. The website information is from last edition, pictures are older and include Groupama...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, Alex was shooting on his iphone and uploading on the fb500 - part of his well sponsored but also well managed marketing/PR campaign, not difficult to see why Hugo Boss keeps sponsoring him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, jonas a said:

The Imoca60 is extremely optimized for the Vendee, so is probably slower in coastal races. Also HB didn't sail very tactically upwind in the Fastnet

In addition, the Dali foiled IMOCA's got whipped by the older generation IMOCA 60's up wind. Dragging all that wetted surface is slow in pretty much anything but reaching conditions. As you say, optimised for the RTW slide.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, southerncross said:

A lot of volume in the bow.  Coach roof could slide forward on a Volvo type.

that's a great hull shape and starting platform for a VOR boat. ditch the foils and go with a large keel bulb and plenty of tanks for ballast and trim. keep the design simple, tough and easy to push hard, and go back to 70 feet.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/4/2018 at 5:18 PM, southerncross said:

And do away with all the great helmsman/women?  Never happen.  And you could argue, a hand driven boat with driver rotations every 30 - 120 mins is faster.

I assume the boat would be hand steered 95% of the time. An auto pilot would afford a degree of safety when a small crew are exhausted, changing sails, or injured.

Who are these men that Francis Joyon is trusting? Top class sailors, half of whom are French and half from elsewhere. A very international crew, bringing together experience and youth. “I’m only taking skippers with me,” said Francis to explain why on board everyone needs to know how to do everything. They will all be taking turns at the helm of the big trimaran. “Unlike the bigger crews, where there are lots of sailors specialising in one area, we’ll be setting off with strong all-rounders on IDEC SPORT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Going to IMOCA's with a much smaller crew could kill of one of the innovations and marketing advantages that VOR has over all other ocean racing events.

The OBR and his drone.

Go back to a bigger boat, with more crew, a box rule to allow various designers to innovate and make it appealing for rich gits to buy for their local races when they are retired from VOR duty.

Oh yeah, and stick to that box rule over the long term to allow them to evolve.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, hoppy said:

The OBR and his drone.

Indeed. I would think that that should be non-negotiable. It has transformed the VOR, and going back to making the crew responsible for media - especially with a shorthanded boat will wipe out a key part of the success of the current round. 

The trouble with a box rule is that sponsors now see a risk that they will sponsor a shitter. As much as one like the idea of innovation within the rule, we risk a return to races where the fleet separates and the race is won on the drafting table. Were it not deliberately compromised, a VO65 would make a great platform after life in the VOR. Still fixable, but will need work. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, 3to1 said:

that's a great hull shape and starting platform for a VOR boat. ditch the foils and go with a large keel bulb and plenty of tanks for ballast and trim. keep the design simple, tough and easy to push hard, and go back to 70 feet.

I think you are getting close to the money there. With more protection needed for a crewed boat incl a OBR (Nicho who was involved with pre-build deck layout review,  is now all but admitting they got that aspect of the 65 wrong) then it probably can't be less than 65'. 

The foil decision will be the hard one enticing as it is. However with the China tour enevitable while Volvo are around, the amount of uphill work and need to be tough makes their inclusion hard to justify.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Francis Vaughan said:

where the fleet separates and the race is won

Uh, hasn't that happened with One Design?  Two boats are still not in Itajai and the finishes between 2nd and 3rd and 4th were sizable.

1 hour ago, Francis Vaughan said:

where the fleet separates and the race is won on the drafting table

The box rule could be restricted.  It would save money to have the hulls come out of the same mold.  Open on the foils, sails, mast etc.

1 hour ago, Francis Vaughan said:

Indeed. I would think that that should be non-negotiable. It has transformed the VOR, and going back to making the crew responsible for media - especially with a shorthanded boat will wipe out a key part of the success of the current round.

Agree.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, 3to1 said:

that's a great hull shape and starting platform for a VOR boat. ditch the foils and go with a large keel bulb and plenty of tanks for ballast and trim. keep the design simple, tough and easy to push hard, and go back to 70 feet.

Spot on.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The more I think about it, the less sense an IMOCA compatible VOR boat makes.

As pointed out above, one has evolved as optimized for single-handed sailing downwind in big breeze. I guess the next Volvo boat will by nature have to be a bit more of an all rounder, especially, if you keep the European legs.

It seems to me that if you want to keep auto-pilots off the boats for the VOR (which I think makes a certain amount of sense as having AP would mean such a big break with how the event is sold) you cannot reduce crew numbers to much less than they currently are. Could you reasonably fit those numbers in an IMOCA? Obviously, they can fit in a 60 foot boat, but in a boat that has a (refitted) life as an IMOCA?

Then there is the question of whether a competitive IMOCA would be strong enough to be driven hard by a full crew around the world.

It seems to me that designing a boat for both races would end up as a project that is sub optimal for each. Possibly the least worse outcome would be a VOR 60 one-design fleet that can be re-fitted as a one design IMOCA class. This could be an entry level class for one or two Vendees, the boats would probably not be competitive for the overall win, but would be a good testing ground for aspiring sailors who cannot finance a new boat. However, this concept seems to fly against the general IMOCA spirit.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, southerncross said:

Uh, hasn't that happened with One Design?  Two boats are still not in Itajai and the finishes between 2nd and 3rd and 4th were sizable.

The box rule could be restricted.  It would save money to have the hulls come out of the same mold.  Open on the foils, sails, mast etc.

There is a tension between a close bunch all playing follow the leader (like last time) and one where the fleet spreads out due to things out of the control of the sailors. Last race there was a lot of criticism of the OD component as the boats simply played safe. It made for a boring race, and there was a real fear the same would happen this time. For reasons that are perhaps not altogether clear, this hasn't happened. We have been presented with a contest that really is as good as it gets. Really close racing. No obvious standout winner because their boat is faster, and a race format that rewards good sailing in all its aspects. 

However there is much to criticise about the VO65. Boats from the same mould could very well be a good intermediate path. A few other components as well, probably - I would add canting mechanism and keel. The keel fin is a pacing component in a build, and having a known good system would make life easier and safer all round. Opening up sails is probably top of the list of things to. That naturally brings with it the mast and rig. Foils is interesting - it isn't a given the boat should have them. But they will be partly constrained by the hull structures. 

It would be a good idea to have a base line all up boat available as well. So a lesser moneyed team could buy a complete boat without having to spend the money and time building one up. Eliminating that lead time and early commitment requirement is something we tend to overlook in the success of the VO65. With the VO70, if you weren't in the race with a designer and money well over a year before the race started, you were not in the race. The costs of getting the team up and running with a boat build adds significantly to the campaign costs.

However, no doubt, the draconian OD VO65 has delivered some great racing. Moving away from the format that delivered that is not done lightly.

There is a difficult to negotiate set of interacting constraints here. Probably the dominant constraints are the ones we don't know - what were the reasons teams didn't make it to the race. As has been noted, there are a number of boats that have been subsidised to reach the start line. With some teams clearly cobbled together late in the day. There will have been a lot of negotiations and a number of teams that didn't make it for a range of reasons. Knowing what went on here must be a big part in understanding what is needful for the future.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

For reasons that are perhaps not altogether clear, this hasn't happened.

Only this.  There were lot's of reasons the fleet was split from navigational errors to team dominance.  This happened in every Leg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, southerncross said:

The box rule could be restricted.  It would save money to have the hulls come out of the same mold.  Open on the foils, sails, mast etc.

 

Why not OD the sails, rig and foils but box rule the hull? Bigger savings on the consumables and things that break, and then the boats are more individual...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Jethrow said:

Why not OD the sails, rig and foils but box rule the hull?

3 hours ago, Francis Vaughan said:

The trouble with a box rule is that sponsors now see a risk that they will sponsor a shitter. As much as one like the idea of innovation within the rule, we risk a return to races where the fleet separates and the race is won on the drafting table.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the next boat needs to be designed with consideration to how it performs in the VOR and how it will perform when it retires. If the boats are one design and do no offer bang for your buck to domestic ocean racing sailors, then no one will want to buy them so the resale will be low costing team owners and sponsors even more money.

If the VO65 was so good, they would be snapped up quickly when they come up on sale, but they aren't. SCA is still for sale and I really wonder why anyone would buy one when you can by a VO70 for half the price and even much less leaving you with a huge upgrade kitty.

The next VOR boats needs to be at least 1 performance level up on the VO70 and quite frankly you are not going to get that from a OD boat.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

Last race there was a lot of criticism of the OD component as the boats simply played safe. It made for a boring race, and there was a real fear the same would happen this time. For reasons that are perhaps not altogether clear, this hasn't happened. We have been presented with a contest that really is as good as it gets

Actually this is starting to happen as each leg unfolds but for entirely different reasons.

The last edition was follow the leader simply because there was a a large difference in performance between each team with AD leading the way. Since around the halfway mark in this edition the performance of at least 3 or 4 boats is extremely hard to seperate. So now if you take off on your own and it doesn't work out there is no catch up ability. 

So routing decisions that lead to a break from the pack are now ones involving a significant break or none at all. Routing mistakes are now being measured by the hour or two at best. There is no where to hide anymore if you are navigating one of the top three or four boats. This not just OD is what is bringing these boats close together and drag racing between changing weather systems.

Leg 8 is going to a real test as unlike Leg 7 there is no fence down one side of the runway to constrict routing. This will lead hopefully to us seeing some breakaway decision making and maybe seeing the leaderboard in Newport pretty crowded at the top.

I can't see OD disappearing after this edition for a huge raft of reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Francis Vaughan said:

The trouble with a box rule is that sponsors now see a risk that they will sponsor a shitter. 

In the latest edition, there have been a few teams who have been consistently off the pace. I liken Scallys win and a second in the doldrums crossing legs to F1 in the wet. 

 

3 hours ago, Francis Vaughan said:

Were it not deliberately compromised, a VO65 would make a great platform after life in the VOR. Still fixable, but will need work. 

Yes, at the right price, but because the design is compromised there is no point paying 950k euro for SCA when you can get a V70 for half the price or less

http://au.yachtworld.com/boats/2013/Custom-Volvo-Ocean-65-3141129/Portugal?refSource=standard listing#.Ws2MRJNuYUE

The VOR organisation will have to lose a hell of a lot more money offloading VO65's than the VO70 teams lost when selling their boats.

http://au.yachtworld.com/boats/2007/Mcconaghy-Boats-Volvo-70-2950409/France?refSource=standard listing#.Ws2MoZNuYUE

http://au.yachtworld.com/boats/2008/Southern-Ocean-Volvo-70-3152232/United-Kingdom?refSource=standard listing#.Ws2MrJNuYUE

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ Hoppy they are pretty old 70's too. The going price for a good one from the 2011/12 crop is still around USD $1.25m

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, hoppy said:

In the latest edition, there have been a few teams who have been consistently off the pace. I liken Scallys win and a second in the doldrums crossing legs to F1 in the wet. 

True, but there is a difference between signing up to sponsor a top flight team and new boat from a top end builder - all at huge cost, only to discover the boat is intrinsically off the pace, versus signing up to sponsor a team you know from the outset is not made up of rock stars and is not in the race with an expectation of winning. Green Dragon came in 5th. It wasn't that it was a bad boat, but it was optimised for the wrong race, and it only became apparent after the race started that the team was dead in the water. Sponsors are not going to be happy with the prospect of a repetition of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

True, but there is a difference between signing up to sponsor a top flight team and new boat from a top end builder - all at huge cost, only to discover the boat is intrinsically off the pace, versus signing up to sponsor a team you know from the outset is not made up of rock stars a