2014-2015 One Design Volvo Ocean Race

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Unfortunately this race is going to be sailed in one design boats which removes one of the areas in the race that most interested me: design and innovation in ocean racing sailboats.
    From Scuttlebutt Europe :

    Groupama out of 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race

    A new team will hoist the Volvo Ocean Race trophy in 2014-15 after Groupama announced they would not be back to attempt a repeat victory.

    A change in priorities for the French insurance company, announced on Friday in Paris, means it will be focusing on other opportunities after Franck Cammas guided the team to a debut win in 2011-12.

    Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, said: "Groupama have kept us in touch with the situation and naturally we are sorry that they will not be returning to defend their title in 2014-15. However, we are seeing really encouraging interest in the Race from other potential teams around the world, including France, and are very confident that the fleet for the next edition will be stronger than ever before."

    France was one of the biggest successes of the 2011-12 Race in terms of media figures with only China providing more viewers on television.

    Top publications Le Figaro and Ouest France featured the Race, on average, at least once a day throughout the near nine-month duration of the event and French websites provided more coverage than in any other market.
  2. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Volvo Ocean Race

    This pretty much sums up my attitude toward the new one design Volvo:


    When French sailor François Gabart aboard his Open 60 Macif covered an
    incredible 545.3 nautical miles in 24 hours this week in the Vendee Globe,
    his pace of 22.3 knots only slightly trailed that of the fastest
    fully-crewed 24-hour record speed of 24.85 knots set in the 2008-9 Volvo
    Ocean Race.

    Gabart, alone on a smaller boat, has been almost able to match the
    incredible pace of a Torben Grael and his team of professionals aboard the
    Volvo Open 70 Ericcson 4. Brian Hancock, a sailor and promoter of around
    the world races, comments on the significance of Gabart's record:
    So what does all of this mean, other than the obvious which is that the
    French are genetically wired differently from the rest of us when it comes
    to offshore racing. To me it means that the Volvo Ocean Race is in trouble,
    and before anyone starts filling my inbox with hate mail, let me point out
    that I am a massive fan of the VOR and veteran of the event, so I am
    entitled to my opinion. Hear me out on this one.

    A decade ago the Global Challenge, Chay Blyth's
    around-the-world-the-wrong-way race was a thriving event that billed itself
    as quite simply the toughest ocean race on the planet. You almost had to be
    superhuman to race around the planet against the prevailing winds and they
    marketed this point very successfully.

    Then along came Dee Caffari, a pretty 33 year old British sailor who took
    one of the Global Challenge yachts and sailed it single-handed, non-stop
    around the world. How hard could the Global Challenge really be if one
    person could do it without even stopping? A few years later Blyth's event
    was gone, the myth shattered.

    How does this relate to the VOR? Quite simple. In order to be the best you
    have to innovate, you have to reinvent, and you must never retreat. I
    understand some of the reasons behind the VOR opting for a smaller One
    Design boat for their future events, but I view it as the death knell for
    the race.

    How do you promote your event as Life at the Extreme, the absolute pinnacle
    of the sport, when the sailing public and sponsors alike are aware that the
    Vendee sailors, all alone on smaller boats are matching the pace of the
    Volvo Ocean Race. All of a sudden it does not seem so extreme, such the
    pinnacle of the sport.

    The IMOCA class are having their own difficulties with costs spiraling upward,
    but they have chosen to allow innovation to dominate their thinking and the
    results speak for themselves. Granted they have seen some attrition in their
    numbers but they started the race with a healthy fleet of 20 boats. The last
    VOR started with six and was down to four within a couple of days. There are
    many who claim with some authority, the talented Juan K among them, that
    the attempt by the VOR to reign in costs by going One Design will have the
    opposite effect, but I worry that whether or not costs go up or down, by
    downsizing and placing limits on the boats they are sucking the juice out of
    the event. Only time will tell what happens but remember this quote by Steve
    Jobs when you ponder the future of offshore ocean racing. “Innovation
    distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” - Brian Hancock, SpeedDream.--

    Letter to the editor of Scuttlebutt regarding Brian Hancocks comments above and the editors response-tonights edition:

    * From Julian Hatherell:
    All comments aside on the boat design differences between the Open 60 and
    the Volvo Ocean Race boats (VO 70 and VO 65), perhaps the bigger question
    is what race is more compelling:
    1) Solo sailors going 545 nm per day in the Southern Ocean, or
    2) Half a dozen VOR boats sitting on a cargo ship going to Dubai and back
    for a month, and then drifting through garbage in the Straits of Malacca

    EDITORS COMMENT: Amen! I understand why the Volvo Ocean Race has sought to maximize
    its commercial potential, but in doing so it's lost some of its soul. I
    hope, through the changes for the 2014-15 edition, the VOR can remain a
    compelling story, but I always worry when a game gets revised not for the
    sake of the game, but for the sake of commercial interests. - Craig Leweck,
  3. Corley
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Melbourne, Australia

    Corley epoxy coated

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