Volvo Ocean Race to trial Foiling Multihulls!

‘Foil Assisted’ Ocean racers stole the show in this years Volvo Ocean Race, with yachts setting a pace that could never be matched by traditional yachts. This year, not only will ‘foil assisted’ be the norm, racers will have the chance to compete in the air, with fully foiling catamarans part of the same race.

Each leg of the Volvo Ocean Race is one of two scenarios. Most of the racing is in the ocean, from point to point, and really – monohulls excel at this kind of racing. They’re strong, reliable, and fast through open water. Not all of the racing is held offshore however; some is held in an inshore arena, where spectators get get up close and personal with the yachts, the racers and the action. Sound familiar? That’s the format of the Americas Cup!

“We had a lot of debate about multihull versus monohull and, in fact, the final solution for us is to do both, so there will be three hulls in future editions – a foil-assisted monohull and a ‘flying’ catamaran,” said Volvo Ocean Race CEO Mark Turner in a press release this week.
“The Volvo Ocean Race has always been the ultimate test of a team in professional sport and with these changes – collectively the most radical since the race began in 1973 – we are taking it up another level. The obsession that has led to generations of sailors putting everything on the line to win this race will continue, but to lift the trophy will require more skill, dedication and sacrifice than ever.”

The design for the foiling multihull is currently out for tender, but the designer for the foil assisted monohull has been announced. France’s Guillaume Verdie, legendary designer and mastermind behind the worlds fastest IMOCA 60’s, a sure-bet to make some very fast boats. All we know about the multihulls, is that they will be fully foiling, and between 10 and 15m long.

Stay tuned to see more about the designs, as the 2017/2018 Volvo Ocean Race kicks into gear.