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The new IMOCA class measurement

This Monday the class’ skippers presented the major aspects of the new class measurement to the public audience at the Paris Boat Show.

Copyright : Christophe Favreau
Copyright : Christophe Favreau

At this debate, which was devoted to the new IMOCA class measurement and organised on the Barcelona World Race stand (1 M50), skippers Jean Le Cam, Bernard Stamm and Christopher Pratt, accompanied by naval architect David de Prémorel (Finot-Conq Group) reviewed the new rules that will govern the fleet of 60 footers for the next Barcelona World race and onwards, the start of which will take place on 31 December 2014 in Barcelona (Spain). After referring to the necessary and difficult compromise involved in drawing up a set of rules aimed at guiding architects in the design of the new boats, the skippers explained the main elements of this evolution in the class measurement. “To sum things up, the new context leaves architectural freedom with regard the hull platform, but the keels and masts will be standardised as a direct result of the observation that the breakage of these appendages is the biggest cause of retirement during a race”, Bernard Stamm explains. Nevertheless, two types of mast will be permitted, namely fixed spreader rigs and rotating wing masts referred to as ‘tuna rigs’ with their large outriggers. With respect to the keels, reliability has also been a key factor, because the choice is focused around the construction of a full keel fin from a forged steel block. The previous construction techniques, which used carbon fibre or other fabricated principles, have been abandoned as they were deemed not to be reliable enough and were expensive. “In addition to the notion of reliability and safety among racers there is a need for us to be able to continue to insure our boats. The more reliable the latter boats are, the easier it will be and the more likely we are to see the costs being reduced in this domain too, since the risk of breakage will be considerably less significant. The idea of being able to call upon a stock of standardised masts in the event of breakage just before a start may also enable skippers to continue racing… or at least to set sail within the time limit”, Jean Le Cam explained.

The general meeting on 17 December 2013 should enable further progress to be made on this subject, as well as being the springboard for finalising the new class measurement for the end of 2013. The latter process will incorporate a summary of the new studies requested from several architects during the Transat Jacques Vabre.

You can see the whole video HERE.

A short version is also ONLINE.

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