Knut Frostad, the Volvo Ocean Race CEO, has told a gathering at the Genoa Boat show that the new Volvo Open 70 rule and Notice of Race would be revealed shortly and hinted at the content of these documents. “Over the last 12 months we have been conducting a project which has shaped the direction of the new Rule and Notice of Race,” he said.
“We have focused on safety and cost containment and have also spoken in detail to the leading figures in the yachting world. Cost containment and team expenditure is important for us as last race the budget for a team ranged between the smallest at fewer than 10 million Euros to a speculated 25-30 million Euros. We want a team to be able to have a good solid campaign in the next edition for only 15 million Euros. We want the race to be won on the water in the end. This is very important to us.”
Grant Dalton, also at the event, who has competed in seven round-the-world races and won the Whitbread twice, spoke of the differences between the race of old and the professional event it has become.
“I remember back to when we used to have beer and wine and we don’t have that anymore”
When asked about potentially sailing in both the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race, Dalton explained how the events were very different beasts but the people involved were not.
“People cross between the America’s Cup and the Volvo, and Torben and Knut are both examples of this,” he said. “At the end there is a chemistry which is fundamental to any team. It’s a culture some teams have and some teams don’t. If you do not get the chemistry and culture right you will not win.”
Carlo Croce the President of Yacht Club Italiano which is backing Giovanni Soldini’s campaign explained their reasons for not building a new Volvo Open 70.
“We did think about taking part in the race on a new boat, but Giovanni preferred to take up a two-race challenge: the first, the 2011-2012 one, will be more conservative. In this way, we will be subject to less pressure and will also be able to focus only on building the crew and on training. We cannot wait to be part of the game, we were immediately fascinated by the Volvo Ocean Race’s spirit and culture.”