Sea, Sail & Surf news

Du grand large à la plage : Toute l’actualité des sports de glisse depuis 2000

Volvo Ocean Race

Mike Sanderson : "V70 is a rule that makes fantastic boats"

ABN Amro One skipper and race leader praises record breaking boats

mardi 10 janvier 2006Redaction SSS [Source RP]

Since the start of the grueling round the world yacht race, the Volvo Ocean Race in November 2005 many commentators expressed concerns over race and boat safety. The race had hardly begun when two boats pulled out of the first leg due to structural damage and after 24 hours of the second leg two boats had again withdrawn. Many have speculated on the rules around the design of the boats and on the new canting keel that was not present in the previous V60 design.

In a frank log from ABN AMRO ONE late last night, Skipper Mike Sanderson addressed these concerns over the safety of the boats competing in the race. Speaking from ABN AMRO ONE just after passing the scoring gate and extending their lead at the top of the leaderboard by picking up an additional 3.5 points Mike said, “I heard through the grapevine that there is a growing concern that these boats are dangerous and that we are being reckless out here. I just want to take this opportunity to say that I will happily sit down with anyone and explain to them the thousands of hours that have gone into making TEAM ABN AMRO’s keel systems as safe as possible. We need the keels to stay where we want them during the race for two reasons, and the good news is that they both go hand in hand. Firstly, it is a safety issue and secondly you have to have a keel that’s working properly to keep racing. In a race like this where all the legs count, as a team you have to finish all the legs without a break down. But the safety of everyone is at the top of the list no matter how you look at it.”

“Every Volvo 70 that has had a problem so far, since the first boat was launched in January last year has got back into port without assistance,” continued Sanderson. “In the Open 60 solo race that I did last year, three boats had to receive aid from rescue boats, one guy was picked up by a container ship as his carbon keel had snapped and two with broken masts had to be rescued from the mid Atlantic by chartered support craft. Now, we are not allowed carbon keels in the Volvo and the rig weight is adequate that unless you break something - the rig should stay up. With the Open 60’s there is a massive rating advantage in having a high modulus mast, in fact their rigs are more Grand Prix then an America’s Cup America's Cup #AmericasCup boat. But still like the Volvo 70, the Open 60 is just an amazing high tech race yacht and is the fastest growing offshore class out there at the moment.

Everyone called for a more exciting boat, both the public and the sailors and guess what..... we got it ! To think that these boats have gone out at just 70 feet long and have on three occasions broken the 24 hr record Record #sailingrecord that was set by Mari Cha IV (a boat very dear to my heart since I was involved with it from conception), which was built for the purpose of beating records, just blows me away. Volvo has supplied us with a rule that makes fantastic boats. The fact that they we are having a not such a high attrition rate is only the fault of the teams and designers. The breakages are all from weight reduction decisions that have been made by either the design team or the racing team and we all knew the whole time that we needed a big bulb on the keel to win the race. We also knew that we needed to finish the legs to win the race and it will be he who has walked that fine line correctly at the end of the day that will come out on top - and we wont know who that is for another seven months yet...”

This morning’s position report showed ABN AMRO ONE had extended its lead to 380 nautical mile and the ABN AMRO TWO had produced a superb overnight sail to take second place from Pirates of the Caribbean who are now in third place.

Info Tim Collins / ABN AMRO

Voir en ligne :

A la une