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Volvo Ocean Race Fleet Grows To Eight For Next Edition

13th October 2016
Marcello Persico in the Persico Marine Boatyard in Bergamo as the new VOR 65 hull is crafted Marcello Persico in the Persico Marine Boatyard in Bergamo as the new VOR 65 hull is crafted Photo: Rick Deppe/Volvo Ocean Race

#VOR - An eighth boat will join the fleet for the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, organisers have announced.

Currently under construction at Persico Marine in Italy, the new Volvo Ocean 65 one-design will be launched in May 2017 with a team to be announced early in the new year.

"It’s exciting to welcome an addition to the fleet ahead of the next edition, as this was not necessarily expected,” said Nick Bice, VOR director of boats and maintenance.

“We now have a real prospect of starting the next race with more boats than in the last edition."

Persico Marine will use the same moulds, materials and process from the built for the original fleet of seven yachts that raced the 2015-15 edition.

And Bice says the boatyard will be open to inspection by all other teams to ensure complete transparency.

"Our tests on the existing boats have shown they have not lost any of their rigidity or performance, so whilst the team building a new boat will have ‘no excuses’ from a mental perspective perhaps, there will be no real advantage in physical terms,” he added.

The rest of the fleet is also undergoing a refit to prepare them for a second gruelling 45,000-nautical-mile journey around the world, starting from Alicante a year from this month.

The news comes after a rule change to provide female sailors with a clearer pathway to competing in the race in the wake of Team SCA’s achievements in 2014-15.

Another rule change, among 10 announcements VOR organisers are making this month, will allow for real-time social media communication by race teams’ onboard reporters without compromising strict rules against internet access.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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