In the last few times on Volvo Ocean Race The ball was ruled by 70 foot yachts built by each team separately on the basis of the «box rule». Now a new milestone in the history of the regatta has begun: strict monotypes - VO 65. They were designed by the studio... Farr Yacht Design for the 2014-15 races. Visitors to this boat say that it is built with the lessons of three generations of the «70»'s, from which the best elements were taken.
The first copy fell into the women's hands of the crew of Team SCA and received the battle pink coloring. The boat is now based in Puerto Calero, on the Canary Island of Lanzarote, from where a colleague from YBW magazine managed to go to a test mailing and share what he saw.
When you walk against the wind at 25-30 knots, sometimes it turns into 40 knots of pennant wind on deck. In this mode, it's hard to see the boat's sharp jerks at 17 knots.
An old saying «One hand for a yacht and the other hand for yourself» requires revision on board these machines. On the first impression, these yachts are more reliable than the «seventies». It feels stronger and more stable when it hits the next wave. The noise below deck is more deaf than the buzzing sound of the Volvo Open 70, which resonated like empty barrels. (Note itBoat: there is another comparison: it is «like sitting in a big drum with a heavy stick»at random rhythm.) It's as if it was lined with a sound-absorbing material.
We're looking at the stern.
One of the distinguishing features of the monotype is the huge Open 60 style cabin roof, which increases the level of crew protection. The new deck organization, with two similar hatches and a "piano" that is now in the centre of the boat, is clearly visible.
Looking forward from starboard.
We have speeded up and steamed at an angle of 80 degrees to the wind, the pennant wind is still about 50 knots, but now our course against the 2-meter waves is much more comfortable.
It's on the bow.
Aft view from the bow as we walked back to Lanzarote with the smallest jib (J3). Note the two large deck beams on the tank, which act as extra ribs and tunnels for the schools to protect the sails from tangling when they are folded up on the bow.
Note also that J3 is made on a twist, just like the Solent, which is moved a little further to the nose.
Of course, Code Zero is also curled here, so there's only one stack (J1) left which is manually inserted into the forestage. It will have an extra halyard pull to sail straight out of the cockpit.
The situation on the tank can be tough and dangerous, and this way of sailing, without risk to the crew member, seems right.
Back at the marina, we will walk again on the deck of the first of the Volvo Ocean 65. Notice how deep the cockpit is made. The three «grinders» and the central «piano pit are» arranged in such a way that the canopy overhanging from above maximally protects the crew from the raging waves.
Moving further forward, we see that the dinghies are simpler and safer than on board most previous 70's yachts. Instead, the halyards are led up to the mast and then back to the cockpit. Note the installation of the mast and the conveniently organized row of stoppers for schools and halyards, easily accessible and at the same time not disturbing on the way.
Author: Matthew Sheahan