Sailraces are the most efficient way to test innovations, that will be lately implemented in nautism.
The Volvo Ocean Race will work more closely with the marine industry’s biggest innovators after having agreed Official Supplier status with a host of major companies.
Industry leaders such as Spinlock, Riwal and Gottifredi Maffioli will join existing Boatyard suppliers Volvo Penta, North Sails, Mastervolt, Southern Spars NZ, Harken and B&G as Volvo Ocean Race Official Suppliers.
This agreements include work on the 1 million euros per-boat refit process undergone in The Lisbon’s Boatyard’s facility. In the long term, the goal of this partnership is to lead to innovations that could trickle down into the consumer sector.
Nick Bice, Director of Boats and Maintenance at the Volvo Ocean Race, said to Yachting Art Magazine, the partnerships would result in the Race working closer than ever before with the marine industry’s global leaders : “The Volvo Ocean Race is the ultimate real-world test bench,” Bice said. “We’re proud to be working with the Who’s Who of the sailing industry – the people and companies at the forefront of innovation, creativity and quality. The Boatyard has already brought a lot to the Race in terms of evolution, and getting these partners onboard will help not only the event, but the wider sailing industry, to evolve even further and faster in the future.”
The Official Supplier deals, negotiated for the whole fleet, have also increased the quality and value of services provided for teams – for the same or less cost – further enhancing the value equation for sponsors backing the race teams.
- Spinlock, based in the UK, is an award-winning lifejacket manufacturer;
- Europe’s Riwal specialises in aerial work platforms and lifts;
- North Sails is the global leader in sailmaking;
- Mastervolt is the industry specialist in autonomous power solutions;
- Italian company Gottifredi Maffioli, founded almost a century ago, manufactures a wide range of ropes.
- Southern Spars designs and manufactures bespoke carbon masts and booms;
- Volvo Penta is a world-leading supplier of engines and complete power systems for marine and industrial applications;
- Harken is a global powerhouse in sailboat hardware and accessories;
- B&G is the industry leader in marine instruments, autopilot systems and tactical software solutions.
Bice continued: “By working closely with our panel of official suppliers, we are able to develop and create high-quality, bespoke products specific to our race. These evolutions will be apparent in the 2017-18 edition, and many will cross over into the consumer market. The Volvo Ocean 65 fleet survived the last 70,000 or so nautical miles, including training, with just a few hitches, and with these new partners onboard, we’re even more confident that they’ll be in great shape over another 70,000 nautical miles. Make no mistake, these boats will be like new when they line up on the start line in Alicante. With a stringent re-fit process currently underway, based largely around reliability, but also to upgrade technology, no stone remains unturned. We’re very excited about the innovations and evolutions on board.”
by Yachting Art Magazine