sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Gladwell's Line: Grant Dalton welcomes new Volvo 65 concept
Gladwell's Line: Grant Dalton welcomes new Volvo 65 concept

'A profile rendering of the new Farr-designed, 65-foot Volvo One Design class'    Farr Yacht Design/Volvo Ocean Race    Click Here to view large photo

Emirates Team New Zealand CEO, and many time round the world sailor, and skipper, Grant Dalton, describes the new concept for the Volvo Ocean Race as a positive move.

Speaking from Lorient, France, venue awaiting the start of Leg 9, of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, Dalton believes the concept for the boat and the next two races do address the central issue, which is cost. 'Yet to be seen, is how they address the people problem, which is about 65% of the cost.'

Dalton believes economic conditions will remain tough for the next five years. 'This is the mechanism to keep the Volvo Ocean race alive and healthy for the next two editions.'



The underlying message from organisers is their focus on getting sufficient boats on the start line to make a commercially viable race. From comments, and question responses, made at the announcement their preference is believed to be eight teams, racing one boat each.

To achieve that goal budgets have to be reduced, while not taking away of the media appeal of the event – and hopefully improving on an event that is keenly followed by media and fans (daily print media excepted in NZ).

Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand in rough weather, on the approach to the finish of Leg 8 -  Paul Todd-Volvo Ocean Race©   Click Here to view large photo
aim is to have a fleet of at least eight 65ft one designs, capable of doing two races, on the line for the start in Alicante, Spain 2014.

That move, together with some other cuts to budgets, plus the fact that a lot of the infrastructure created for the 2011/12 race will be able to be rolled over, should get the overall cost down significantly.

Balance that against a tanking European economy, and it is still a big ask.

A key question will be how many of the current teams, who have all had a part to play in the development of the new boat, will be able to convince their backers to go again. If Volvo can start with a base of five to six teams from the 2011/12 race, then the eight looks viable, particularly if two boat teams (one male crew and one female crew) are allowed.

Many will be disappointed that the outstanding Juan K Yacht Design was not selected. The option of taking, say a Volvo 70 such as Telefonica, and re-jigging that as a one design did not make the cut. That obsoletes the current fleet, with organisers preferring the prospect of getting two events out of the new Volvo 65.

The new design from Farr Yacht Design is promised to be with 2.7% of the potential of the Volvo 70. At 25kts that is a speed difference of just over .5kt. To be honest, most wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Rather than speed, the real issues will be of quality control, one design integrity and reliability.

The Volvo 65 will be built by a consortium of four European yards, primarily for reasons of logistics. Quite who takes responsibility for boat integrity in that design/build mix is an interesting matter. Certainly it is not the teams, as at present. But it is the teams that are responsible to their sponsors for performance and reliability.

Some minds would be a little more at rest, if a builder like Core Builders Composites were involved, with their AC45 experience to draw upon, and their ability to produce a very strong one design, high performance product straight out of the box.

Groupama Sailing Team, skippered by Franck Cammas from France are greeted by family, fans and the media on the dock, after taking first place on leg 8 -  Ian Roman-Volvo Ocean Race©   Click Here to view large photo
announcement has been made on that other area of reliability – spars. Of which there have been three race suspending incidents in this edition of the race. Southern Spars are the only choice – their record in Volvo and Round the World races is second to none. While budgets are important, reliability is even more so, in a race of this type.

Part of the solution to this quality conundrum is to have open review of the various elements. Quite how many of the international marine industry would participate to effectively tune up their competitive rival’s product, and pass on IP remains to be seen.

Certainly the design blanket concept has worked well enough in the past – for instance, with the New Zealand Challenge in the 1987 America’s Cup and Laurie Davidson, Ron Holland and Bruce Farr being involved. But that was to do a task which none of the three could have done individually. It does require careful management and ego submersion.

Selling the pedigree of the Volvo 65 will be a crucial factor in the success of the Race. Having a name like Juan K Yacht Design attached to the new boat, would have added credibility. However given the boat is a one design the credentials of the design firm are less of a factor. The critical issue will be reliability and structural integrity, so that a situation as happened in Leg 5 of the current edition, where all but one of the six boats was forced to suspend racing, does not happen again.

Team Telefonica at the finish of leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE. -  Paul Todd-Volvo Ocean Race©   Click Here to view large photo
don't forget, too, that with all the options on the table in terms of open design for the current edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, there have been four different leg winners. And a Farr design has won two Legs.

Overall the Volvo 65 concept seems fine. The move to make it even more media friendly is a step in the right direction, as is the move to provide more crew protection for high speed sailing.

The next test will be the choice of route, and the lesson there has to be to pick venues that pull the crowds and fans. Sorry, but that is virtually the only criteria. And staging an event in a stadium devoid of fans demeans the value of any game, no matter what the sport.

Of course while the move has been made to one designs, as any one design dinghy sailor knows the difference between boats, even from a single manufacturer can be very significant. Not that one boat is any better than another, but dogs are possible for reasons that are generally inexplicable. Similarly with sails and spars.

And once the boats have been taken over by the teams, the intense optimisation process will begin - maybe not too different from the 12 metre era and the perpetual search for that vital tenth of a knot.

There was no option really to what has been announced.

Offsetting the reduced cost is the knowledge of that even a team with excellent pedigree saying they can do an America's Cup program for EUR16million and with excellent pedigree, is as yet unable to push the Go button.

The moves announced by the Volvo Ocean race organisers are definitely a step in the right direction, several in fact. But are they enough?

We'll have to hurry up and wait.

To read what Juan Kouyoumdjian thinks of the new Volvo 65 click here


by Richard Gladwell

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=99096

11:17 AM Fri 29 Jun 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race

Related News Stories:

29 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: InPort Race and Leg 9 Start - See it Live - Here!
28 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race introduces new boat for next two races + Video
28 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: New Farr 65 one design announced for two races
28 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Dreams of victory for Groupama + Video
28 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Must-win opportunity for Puma
28 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Short but threatening Leg 9
27 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race crews prepare for Bretagne In-Port Race
26 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Camper's Pammenter back in for final leg
23 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Skippers try sailing at 34kts aboard Groupama
23 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean race: Camper tries two more hulls in Lorient
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World





Soling North American Championship concludes on Lake Erie by Canadian International Soling Association,






































Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam day 5 by American Windsurfing Tour,


















470 Men and Women Worlds - Champions decided in Santander by International 470 Class Association,






ISAF Worlds - 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17 Rio 2016 spots taken
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Women's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Scott all set to lift Finn world title
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Men's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Aussies and Austrians claim 470 gold
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 470 awards images by Sail-World.com
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - 470 medal race images by Jesus Renedo
Annapolis-to-Newport Race - 'What to Expect' Seminar to take place
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - No racing on penultimate day
Belcher takes record fifth 470 World Championship
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 8 video highlights
2014 Great Lakes Team Racing Championship about to set off
2014 Etchells North American Championship - Day 1
2014 U.S. Multihull Championship - Day 1
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Repechage top four determined in final flight
J/24 World Championship - 35th anniversary preview
470 Men and Women Worlds - Santander medal race line-up confirmed
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sail-World.com
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing stumbles in coastal race
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans ready for 470 medal races
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Action ramps up with end zone in sight   
Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length   
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander - Double French RS:X gold   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sailing Energy   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Finn leaders emerge from shifty Santander breeze   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - RS:X winner images by Barbara Sanchez   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 470 spots awarded   
52 Super Series 2015 - Outlook looks hot for the 52 Super Series   
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam - Another early start on day 4   
ISAF Sailing World - First entry leaves sailor's reputation in tatters   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Four go through to quarter finals   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Champs take over leaderboard   
ISAF Sailing World Champ - Buckingham finishes with career-best result   
America's Cup: Oracle's Larry Ellison to step down as CEO   
Classic Yacht Regatta - Sonny takes top classic prize   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham finishes with career best   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 RS:X spots claimed   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Leaderboards shaping up in Santander + Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Giles Scott continues to extend lead   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 7 images by Sailing Energy   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT