Volvo Announces New Boat, Format for 2005-6 Race

Boats Will Be Bigger, Carry Less Crew

February 10, 2003

Grand Prix Sailor is a 13-year-old racing news publication of Sailing World Magazine (

Big changes are in store for participants in the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race, both in boat type and course sailed. The boats will have some common features, including length (70 feet), a canting keel and bulb and standardized carbon rigs, but centerboard, rudder, and hull configurations will be left to individual teams. They’ll essentially be Open 70s built to a box rule with soft edges.

Recognizing the importance of media coverage, each Volvo 70 will be wired for sound and video, which will be managed from a dedicated on board media center. Crew sizes are variable, with an all-male crew limited to 9, a mixed male/female crew with at least 5 women allowed 10, and an all-female crew with a maximum of 11.


The racecourse will continue to follow the traditional clipper route around the world, with stopovers in Cape Town, South Africa, Australasia [port choice depends upon the outcome of The America’s Cup, but look for it to be somewhere in Asia if New Zealand loses the Cup], Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Baltimore/Annapolis, Southampton,England, Goteborg, Sweden and a finish at a Baltic port. There will be in-port racing during each stopover, and crew limits for in-port racing will be extended to allow for one extra crewmember. To ensure the best conditions in the Southern Ocean, the event will start in early November 2005, from the Mediterranean.

This edition of the event will also use a new scoring system. On the long ocean legs, scoring gates will be included, where half points can be collected, with the same system for the in-port racing, accounting for 20 percent of the total points. All legs will count with no discards allowed. There will be point-scoring gates at: Fernando de Noronha (Leg 1), Kerguelen Island, Eclipse Island, Cape Horn, Fernando de Noronha (Leg 4) and The Lizard. Onshore weather routing will not be allowed.

Volvo also announced a new race, The Volvo Pacific Ocean Race, which will be sailed in the new Volvo 70s and will visit Asian ports in China and Japan, before crossing the Pacific ocean to San Francisco and San Diego.


Olivier de Kersauson’s trimaran Geronimo continues to close on Tasmania through difficult sea conditions, namely a south-westerly swell crossed by wind-generated waves from the west north-west. The breeze, a sustained 30 knots, is directly astern, which has meant a lot of jibing in the past 72 hours.

Kingfisher II is currently 10 hours 30 minutes behind Orange’s record-setting pace, and 41 hours 2 minutes behind the giant tri Geronimo, which has entered the Indian Ocean.

Light winds have frustrated Ellen MacArthur and her crew. “Again we find ourselves in an unavoidable situation as the wind gods cast a shadow over our world,” writes MacArthur. “It’s been a tough day today, but a good day. I just hope and pray for our luck to change, and for the winds to be a little fresher soon.”


“In two week’s time we will be dreaming of this weather but right now we are searing in around 33 degrees centrigrade,” writes Andrew Preece from Kingfisher II. “Our plight made all the worse by the fact that there is virtually no wind. We haven’t actually seen ’the two donuts’ yet (all zeros on the speed readout), but we have been pretty close. And with the sun passing just about overhead there is very little shade to be found. Below, the off watch trying to sleep find themselves swimming in sweat.”

Need cash for your Olympic campaign, funding for coaching, clinics, or training sessions? If you’re from the mid-Chesapeake region, the Annapolis Yacht Club Foundation is actively seeking requests for grants. Founded in 2000, the AYCF seeks to support amateur sailors in national and international competitions. In 2002, the Foundation awarded more than $30,000 in support of its mission. Applications are available at

It took 83 hours, but Roberto Pandiani (45), of Brazil, and Duncan Ross (39), of South Africa, have successfully crossed the Drake Passage, the 500 miles of open ocean that separates Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula. They are the first sailors on record to cross Drake Passage on an open boat, specifically a 21-foot Kevlar catamaran named Satellite 2.


The eighth annual Key West to Varadero Ocean Race, and the third Conch Republic Cup (CRC) Key West to Cuba Race Week will run from May 23rd to May 30th.

The CRC begins with a race from Key West to Varadero, Cuba, followed by a buoy race off the beach of Varadero, with the Cuban Olympic sailing team participating. The fleet will then make a 75-mile run to Havana. The final race is back to Key West. Race classes will include one design, PHRF, multihulls and cruisers. All seaworthy boats are welcome. For information, e-mail [email protected]

The Millennium Cup Distance races are from Auckland to Kawau Island and back Courtesy

Megayachts and performance cruisers mixed it up on Day 1 of the New Zealand Millennium Cup Superyacht Regatta, and while Prada Challenge helmsman Francesco de Angelis wasn’t able to get his team into the America’s Cup, he did steer the 105-footer Ulisse to a victory in Division 1. In second for the day was the 112-foot Unfurled, owned by American Harry Maclowe. In third, Canon Leopard (Leopard of London), steered by Paul Cayard.

The most exciting race of the day was between Canon Leopard and Neville Crichton’s 90-foot, water-ballasted Alfa Romeo, the Sydney-Hobart line honors winner. “We’d rather be lucky than smart,” said Cayard after the race. “We were fighting shifty northeast and southwest sea breezes, making it a tough day’s racing. In the end we were lucky and Alfa Romeo was unlucky.”

Thirty-five sailing yachts, ranging from the 163-foot Perseus to the 75-foot ACC racer NZL-20 are racing in this three-day event, which ends with a distance race from Kawau island to the Viaduct basin on Wednesday.

Seventeen boats began the Pineapple Cup, an 811-mile jaunt from Miami to Montego Bay, Jamaica, on Friday, Feb. 7. As of Sunday afternoon, pre-race favorite for line honors, the MaxZ86 Zephyrous V was just north of the Windward Passage off Cuba. Clustered around Hole-in-the Wall were the sleds Equation, Renegade, and Donnybrook, but the TP-52 Rosebud wasn’t far behind.

The record to beat, 3d:3h:40m:7s, has been held since 1971 by Windward Passage. Look for daily position reports at

The Salsa (cruising) division of the Puerto Vallarta race, from Marina del Rey, Calif., to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, also started Friday, Feb. 7. The racing classes begin the 1,175-mile race this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

PHRF AA (starts Feb. 14)
Pyewacket (R/P 75), USA-4, Roy E. Disney, Los Angeles, -153/-47:48:45

PHRF A (starts Feb. 13)
Sorcery (Mull 82), US-1777, Jacob Wood, California, -48/-15:00:00
Locomotion (Andrews 45), US-46860, Keith Kilpatrick, South Shore, -45/-14:03:45

PHRF B (starts Feb. 12)
Horizon (S/CD 50M), US-18926, Jack Taylor, Dana Point, -3/-0:56:15
Atalanta (Tripp 74 ketch), US-69581, Richard Hedreen, Corinthian, 0/0:00:00
Zamazaan (Farr 52C), US-3883, Charles Weghorn, St. Francis, 6/1:52:30
Black Knight (Farr 39ML), US-83400, Phillip Friedman, Del Rey, 15/4:41:15
Ghost II (Farr 395), US-7077, Al Berg, Santa Monica Windjammers, 30/9:22:30

Grand Prix Sailor and Grand Prix Sailor–America’s Cup Edition are weekly newsletters compiled by the editors of Sailing World magazine. If you’d like to subscribe, see
Contributing Editors: Tony Bessinger ([email protected], Dave Reed ([email protected]), Stuart Streuli ([email protected]), John Burnham ([email protected])


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