Hungry for their next Volvo Ocean Race win, Farr Yacht Design’s Britt Ward describes the gestation of Ian Walker’s Fastnet Race and maiden In-Port winner Azzam...

The 2011-2012 Volvo Race represents the third edition of the event using the Volvo Open 70 class. Farr Yacht Design were fortunate to be selected as the designers of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s new boat for the race back in July 2010. The timeline to produce the design, get it built and in the water with some limited sailing time before the race was extremely short and required a great deal of trust between the campaign, sailing team, designers and builders to make the right decisions even with sometimes limited information.

With a construction start in December 2010, a compressed research programme was devised that considered all the primary performance-producing areas first and allocated research and design resources accordingly. The detailed design phase was closely coupled with the construction plan to maximise design time without holding up any phase of the construction. The following article looks at some of these areas where design energies were focused and discusses some of the more innovative features of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s VO70 Azzam.

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