Early Days Yet

Dave Reed tries to make sense of the VOR technical committee's "Shed Measurement Guidelinees," which explain how measurers will go about measuring hulls for the 2010-'11 Volvo Ocean Race.
Sailing World


il mostro is craned back into the water in Alicante, Spain. For all photographic enquiries, please contact Tim Stonton on +34 606 905 497 or email For further images, please go to For all media enquiries please contact Lizzie Ward in the UK on +44 7801 185 320 or email Sophie Luther in Spain on +34 606 894 940 or email Courtesy Volvo Ocean Race

And it’s in the early days when designers and builders start asking questions of the VOR’s technical committees. I’ve found tat the VOR online “noticeboard” is a great place to start lurking, as it’s here where “public interpretations” are released to the public (other teams). Essentially, a team submits a question, asking for clarity on one of the measurement rules, and the committee responds publicly. It’s also here where you’ll find the VO 70 Rule itself, the Notice of Race, and race amendments throughout. The most recently posted is called the “Shed Measurement Guidelines,” whereby they explain how measurers will go about measuring hulls. This reminds me of the time just about this time last year (spring) as I got an early upclose look at Puma’s il mostro. Up towards the bow knuckle I noticed a round cutout in the slick paint job that someone had painstakingly done by hand. I asked Ken Read what the hole was, and he explained it was where they’d drilled for a hull-laminate sample. “Yeah, that was wild,” he said. “We make the boat perfect and then they start drilling holes in it.”

For what it’s worth, here’s where to look for more holes:

From clause 3.2 in the Guidlines:


The measurer shall co-ordinate with the technician to take the requisite number of panel samples as required by the rule.
The following samples shall be taken:
Sample No Position of sample
1 Hull bottom up to 300mm above DWL forward of
MFS or the collision bulkhead.
2 Hull bottom up to 300mm above DWL aft of MFS.
3 Hull topsides or transom.
4 Watertight sub-divisions including hatch panels.
5 Deck, including cockpit sole & sidewalls, coach
roof, spray dodger or hatch panels.
6 At the measurers discretion
7 At the measurers discretion
8 At the measurers discretions