By knut Frostad, Volvo Ocean Race CEO
"Last week, I talk about my favourite jigsaw, the race course elaboration. This week, another interesting Rubik's cub : The new boat ! As you probably know, the boat for the next two race editions will be a 6.5 foot monotype : the VOR65. Our organization has asked four boat yards to build it. Multiplast from Vannes, will be in charge of building of the deck, Persico (Italia) will build the hull, Decision (Switzerland) the bulkheads and Green Marine (UK) will look after the final fitting of all the pieces. Today, the building enters a very exciting phase. The hull and deck of the first boat are finished. This 2 pieces will be sent to Green Marine by road on a truck to be fitted. It's there that the jigsaw starts to take shape.
Today, the building enters a very exciting phase. The hull and deck of the first boat are finished. This 2 pieces will be sent to Green Marine by road on a truck to be fitted. It's there that the jigsaw starts to take shape. I think that it's the first time such a project is managed at this scale. We had boats built in series, long and complex projects loke the MOD70, but with this boat has much more details. Everyhting is included, the media system and all the necessary gear to sail around the world...It's a monotype of a different scale.
All boats are strickly identicals
From the start, we've decided that what was the most important was that all the boats were strickly identicals.And it's a much more complicated process taht what it seems. When you talk about monotype, the sailors think mainly about the shape and the weight. But we went further, we went up to the extreme to scale the weight and the lenght of each power cable. The first boat won't be a prototype, it will be exactly like the other ones. So, it takes some time to built it. At Multiplast, for example, they developped a new laser technology in order to place at the exact spot all the deck hardware. We are tlaking about less than a millimeter rate error here. Also, the planning is tight and quiet a lot of companies are involved, the project management is complex. You can set up the ideal process you wish, but it's mainly the motivation of the people involved in this project that is important. I've met most of the team and I've been impressed by their enthousiasm. It's an important project, a very big project, and I believe that every providers understood that this project couldn't work without working togeteher. Before, these yards was in competition with each other. Today, the success of these boats will be the addition of the work done by each one. You can build a strong hull bit it will mean nothing is the mast is mishape or the rudders are uneven. The final objective : Volvo Ocean 65 reliability. One of our aim was to build a reliable boat more reliable than before. But in our industry, everyone is fighting against the weight. It's not easy to build a fast boat but it's easy to build a light one. This time, it doesn't matter to build the lighter boat, it matters to build the most solid and durable boat.Everybody must think the same way. It's achallenge. I believe than we can do it.Now, it's time to gather up all the pieces and to see what looks like this second jigsaw. Knut Frostad, Norwegian, 45, married, one daughter. Sailor and businessman. He is the Volvo Ocean Race CEO. He raced four Volvo Ocean RAce edition (Helsman on Intrum Justicia in 1993-94, skipper on Innovation Kvaerner in 1997-98 and on Djuice Dragons in 2001-02, watch captain on Brasil in 2005-06) and participated at the JO of 1992. He had sailed in France on Corum and Sodebo.