IMOCA AGM Focus on Safety and Fleet Numbers.

The IMOCA Class has held its AGM with a focus being on reliability, safety and the long term success of the class.

Dominique Wavre, President of the Class said:

“the resolutions that have been adopted are very important… All members are in agreement that the Class needs to continue evolving in order to ensure the success of the Vendée Globe and to offer all skippers, sponsors and followers a good race programme. As we have done up until now. We also need to confront the present economic crisis with a spirit that will ensure the highest possible number of boats at the start of races.”

As a result of the high number of incidents during the Vendee Globe, much attention was given to safety withing the boat rule. Here are some of the decisions:

  • To limit the number of sails to 10 (no matter how many crew onboard);
  • To limit the number of appendages to 5 (1 keel, 2 rudders, and 2 dagger boards.)
  • To establish a maximum mast height.
  • New keel tests for tortion, bending and vibration.

The last resolution will also improve safety by limiting the strength of the masts. It is a direct result of the number of breakages in the Vendée Globe.

Other safety measures include – the study of how to make the use of the boom easier when setting up a jury rig.

Sustainable energy was also discussed. The members of the assembly agreed that there is a need to develop new technology in this area. One of the future rules will permit the development of electrical engines that will function through wind, solar or hydrodynamic generators.

The race calendar has also been defined. The most awaited decision was confirmation of the European Pro Tour starting from Istanbul with stopovers in Nice, Barcelona, a UK port (to be confirmed) and Brest. The other regattas in the calendar will be the Transat Jacques Vabre, the Route Du Rhum, The Barcelona World Race and the Vendée Globe.

The new board of IMOCA was also voted and agreed on as follows:

  • President Dominique Wavre;
  • Vice Presidents Pascal Chadail and Jacques Guilbaud;
  • Secretary General Bernard Stamm.
  • Technical committee: President Pascal Chadail.
  • Events Committee: President Jean Le Cam.
  • Executive Committee Yann Eliès and Alex Thomson.
  • Treasurer Luc Talbourdet.