To support its work on sustainability and inclusion, the IMOCA Class today announced a new partnership with US-based 11th Hour Racing.

The partnership will help promote and develop a series of programs that the IMOCA Class has been working on over the last four years aimed at driving sustainable innovation in offshore racing, and increasing opportunities for female sailors and shore crew in the sport.

Antoine Mermod, the President of the IMOCA Class, welcomed the formal collaboration with 11th Hour Racing which, he said, is the perfect partner to support the Class’s pioneering work in these areas.

“IMOCA and 11th Hour Racing can create a powerful force for good in world sailing with our shared interests and determination to reduce the environmental impact of the sport we love, while at the same time promoting opportunities to encourage more women to get involved in offshore racing,”said Mermod.

“I can’t think of a better organisation than 11th Hour Racing for us to work with – given their established track record on environmental projects, on inclusion and on efforts to preserve the oceans and the creatures that live in it,”added Mermod. Jeremy Pochman, the Chief Executive Officer of 11th Hour Racing, embraces this sponsorship of IMOCA, an organisation that 11th Hour Racing has worked with during The Ocean Race 2022-23.

“Our collaboration with IMOCA reflects our dedication to sustainable innovation and furthers 11th Hour Racing’s objective of setting new standards for inclusivity and equity in sailing,”Pochman said.

He highlighted IMOCA’s work to foster diversity, and to quantify and limit the environmental footprint of new boat-builds, two of seven initiatives that 11th Hour Racing will support.“This partnership raises the bar for standards within sailing and reinforces our shared mission towards a more equitable and sustainable future, both on and off the water,”said Pochman.

The IMOCA programs that 11th Hour Racing supports are as follows:

  • Impact Reduction Rule – requires a measured cut in emissions during all IMOCA boat-builds between 2025 and 2028.

  • Green Sail Rule – requires all IMOCA teams to include one sail in their racing inventory produced with less emissions than standard sails.

  • Alternative Materials Research Project – work on the use of alternative materials in boat construction such as flax or recycled carbon.

  • Carbon Recycling Scheme – a pilot scheme, in partnership with Guyot Environnement, encouraging IMOCA teams to dispose of unwanted carbon-fibre parts in a recycling bin.

  • Global Cooperation Project – science-based initiative, in partnership with the International Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, which includes deployment of buoys by IMOCA skippers during races, to collect data on water quality and climate, and collaborative projects with race organisers.

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – a series of initiatives aimed at empowering women to get involved in offshore racing, including IMOCA’s partnership with the Magenta Project and the Female Leadership Development Program.

  • Marine Mammals Strike Project – IMOCA’s work with the Marine Mammal Advisory Group on Hazard Button technology and research work on collision avoidance with mammals during races.

© Eloi Stichelbaut - polaRYSE / IMOCA

Imogen Dinham-Price, Sustainability and Partnerships Co-Manager at IMOCA, said the Class is determined to share the results of its work in all these areas, something that the tie-up with 11th Hour Racing will help to facilitate.

“It’s not just in-house,”she said. “IMOCA is one of the only classes in offshore sailing with the financial resources in place to do this sort of work, so it is important to share the fruits of it with the wider offshore sailing community. In that way everyone else can move forward as well.”

Dinham-Price said all of these programs are essential for IMOCA going forward. “IMOCA is gearing itself up for a future where these elements will become essential. If we don’t start looking into them now, it will be too late. And if we are able to share with our community all of the innovations and data we have gathered, and shine a light on sustainable approaches, that will give offshore racing the best chance of surviving.”

Claire Vayer, Sustainability Co-Manager at IMOCA, said 11th Hour Racing was the ideal partner for the Class. “They share our values,”she said. “Their philosophy is to engage and protect the ocean, and their knowledge around these areas is incredible. They are also very committed to empowering women through the Upwind program with MerConcept. We have so much in common that we can now build on.”

About 11th Hour Racing

11th Hour Racing works to mobilize sports, maritime and coastal communities with an innovative approach to inspire solutions for the ocean. 11th Hour Racing promotes collaborative, systemic change through three primary areas of engagement: sponsorships, grantees and ambassadors. These philanthropic activities are provided through 11th Hour Racing, Inc., 11th Hour Racing Charitable and 11th Hour Racing Action. Learn more at