After several months of talks and reflection, a partnership agreement has just been signed between the famous round the world race (Volvo Ocean Race / Whitbread Round the World Race) and the IMOCA class. The 60-foot IMOCA boats will be lining up at the start of the next edition, which will take place in 2021.
It is a major development for the IMOCA, which after French solo races like the Vendée Globe and the Route du Rhum, will be widening its horizons abroad with crewed races, like the Volvo Ocean Race, the biggest crewed round the world race with stopovers, the most recent edition of which has just ended in The Hague.
Antoine Mermod, the President of the IMOCA class, declared that “as we work together to bring the most important offshore races in the world – short-handed and fully crewed – to the IMOCA class boats, it will allow us to grow the class internationally and offer more value to our stakeholders. This partnership should allow us to accelerate the development of some of the teams involved in the IMOCA.”
During the finish of the Volvo Ocean Race last week in The Hague, a meeting was held with organisers, sailors and designers like Guillaume Verdier, Juan Kouyoumdjian, Vincent Lauriot-Prévost and Sam Manuard. Vincent Riou, who for a long time was in charge of the technical committee within the IMOCA, was also present: “I was asked to share my experience. The aim was to determine together whether the signed agreements made sense and to come up with some technical solutions.”