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IMOCA extends relationship naming Iridium and Thales as Official Communications Partners

by Iridium 15 Sep 00:48 PDT
The Iridium Certus powered Thales VesseLINK 700 onboard Alex Thomson Racing's Hugo Boss Boat. © Eloi Stichelbaut - polaRYSE / IMOCA

Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: IRDM) is proud to share that the International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA) has extended its relationship naming Iridium and Thales as its official communications partners. IMOCA skippers will continue to rely on Iridium Certus® as their primary means of satellite communication at sea, after years of successful races and even life-saving communications provided.

Beginning in 2019, IMOCA skippers set sail with the new state-of-the-art satcom system, relying on Iridium Certus during several high-profile yachting events that attracted a global audience, including the prestigious Vendée Globe race. As the official communications partners, Iridium and partner Thales will continue to equip the IMOCA racing fleet with the Iridium Certus satellite connectivity delivered by the Thales VesseLINK™ 700 terminal.

"Continuing our partnership with Iridium and Thales justifies how confident the skippers and the Class are in this technology," says Antoine Mermod, President, IMOCA Class. "By combining the expertise of two companies, our boats are equipped with the closest land-like level of communication ever proposed. The applications of the equipment on-board an IMOCA yacht participating in the Vendée Globe race remain essential tests for any developments; this communication combination has definitely proven its worth."

Iridium® is the only satellite network with reliable, truly global connectivity, even in adverse conditions at sea. The connectivity solution enables IMOCA skippers to easily communicate with their shore teams, send photos and texts to friends and family, conduct interviews over Skype, Zoom or Microsoft TEAMS, and in the most extreme cases, provide critical connectivity during rescue situations.

"We were already equipped with the Thales and Iridium system during the last Vendée Globe. This system has proven itself on the round the world race. The antenna and the network worked very well, even in hostile conditions and with our boats constantly on the move," says Kevin Escoffier, skipper, Team PRB. "Moreover, the VesseLINK 700 is very efficient in terms of power consumption. I am very happy with the Iridium and Thales partnership with the IMOCA Class. Communication has become essential nowadays and this system perfectly meets our needs."

"We are very excited to continue the unique partnership with the IMOCA Class. The use of our technology by the skippers is an invaluable endorsement of the performance, coverage and reliability Iridium Certus and the Thales VesseLINK 700 terminal offer," said Wouter Deknopper, vice president and general manager of maritime business at Iridium.

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