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El primer Volvo Ocean 65 supera examen estructural

by Volvo Ocean Race on 27 Sep 2013
Volvo Ocean 65 boat graphic Volvo Ocean Race© http://www.volvooceanrace.com
El primer barco de los nuevos monotipo Volvo Ocean 65 ha superado una serie de rigurosas pruebas, incluido el examen estructural de seguridad que escora el barco hasta 50 grados, y estará 'listo para navegar' a finales de esta semana.

Radical, con un rendimiento muy alto, duro y diseñado para cubrir las necesidades de la comunicación digital, el nuevo Volvo Ocean 65 marca una nueva era en los 40 años de historia de la Volvo Ocean Race dado que se trata de la primera vez que se utiliza un barco monotipo.

El nuevo barco de 65 pies fue diseñado por Farr Yacht Design en Estados Unidos y construido por un consorcio de astilleros en Reino Unido, Francia, Italia y Suiza.

La flota de barcos nuevos se utilizará por primera vez en la décimo segunda edición de la vuelta al mundo a vela, que comenzará en Alicante casi dentro de un año, el 4 de octubre de 2014, y serán lo suficientemente resistentes para que se vuelvan a usar en 2017-18.

El nuevo barco salió el lunes del astillero de Green Marine, al sur de Inglaterra, y se puso en el agua por primera vez esa misma tarde. Desde entonces se ha sometido a una intensa serie de pruebas, bajo la supervisión del responsable de la clase, James Dadd, y está previsto que el jueves reciba el visto bueno para navegar por primera vez y que se entregue a Team SCA a finales de la semana.

El examen estructural (denominado 'pull-down test' en inglés), que consiste en una simulación de un fallo en el sistema de la quilla pivotante, no es la única barrera que ha tenido que superar para demostrar que está listo para competir pero sin duda es la más espectacular.

El nuevo barco se escoró hasta 50 grados mientras que la quilla se pivotó al máximo, una forma extrema de comprobar que el mecanismo de centrado automático de la quilla funciona.

'Este es un test significativo para el barco y en concreto para la quilla, los mamparos y la estructura de soporte', dijo Dadd. El Volvo Ocean 65 tiene una estructura interna significativamente mayor y unos márgenes de diseño más altos que los barcos anteriores de la Volvo Ocean Race.

'También es una buena prueba del mecanismo pivotante, con una carga mucho mayor que cuando estamos navegando, ya que en este examen solo utilizamos un hidráulico en vez de dos'.

'Es un escenario que pone en el barco cargas muy superiores a las que hay en condiciones normales de navegación', añadió.

Otros exámenes han consistido en comprobar la flexibilidad e integridad estructural para comprobar cuánta deflexión hay en el casco, una prueba de motor y enfriamiento y un examen del sistema de aceite y combustible.

Mientras que Team SCA, el primer equipo femenino en participar en la regata en más de una década, se prepara para recibir su Volvo Ocean 65, en la cadena de producción los trabajos han comenzado con el barco número siete. El resto de barcos estarán listos para navegar en los próximos meses.

El cambio al concepto de monotipo es una decisión estratégica radical para la regata, un cambio que mejora muchísimo la eficiencia en costes para los equipos y sus patrocinadores. También pone todo el peso de la competición en la lucha de los equipos en el agua y no en la cuestión de quién ha diseñado el barco más rápido.

'Si no hubiese sido por el nuevo reglamento del monotipo probablemente no hubiera hecho la regata otra vez', afirma Ian Walker, que vuelve en 2014-15 como patrón al frente del Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. 'Definitivamente va a ser la regata más disputada de la Volvo Ocean Race

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