New era begins as first Volvo Ocean 65 comes through pull-down test
The first of the new one-design Volvo Ocean 65 racing boats has come safely through a rigorous round of testing – including a heart-stopping pull-down test putting the boat at an angle of 50 degrees – and is on track to be declared “ready to sail” by the end of the week.
Radical, high-performance, tough and designed around the demands of digital communications – the new Volvo Ocean 65s mark the first use of a one-design boat in the 40-year history of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The new 65-foot yacht was designed by Farr Yacht Design in the United States and built by a consortium of boatyards in the UK, France, Italy and Switzerland.
The fleet of new boats will be used for the first time in the 12th edition of the round-the-world race starting in just over a year’s time on October 4 2014 in Alicante and will be tough enough to be used again in 2017-18.
The new boat left the Green Marine boatyard in southern England on Monday and touched the water for the first time that evening. It has since undergone extensive testing, overseen by class manager James Dadd, and it should be taken out for its first sail on Thursday before being given the green light and handed over to Team SCA at the end of the week.
The pull-down test, simulating a failure of the canting keel system, is far from the only hurdle that has to be cleared before the boat is given the green light to be raced but it is easily the most spectacular.
The new boat was heeled to 50 degrees while the keel was canted fully to the same side as an extreme way of testing the automatic keel centring mechanism.
“This is a significant test for the boat, and particularly the keel bulkheads and support structure,” said Dadd. The Volvo Ocean 65 has significantly more internal structure and higher design margins than previous Volvo Ocean Race boats.
“It’s also a good test of the canting mechanism, with a much higher load than when we are sailing, as in this test we are only using one ram instead of two.
“It’s a case of taking the boat way beyond normal sailing loads.”
Other tests have included a structural integrity bend test to check how much deflection is in the hull, an engine test and a cooling, oil and fuel system test.
While Team SCA – the first female team to enter the race in over a decade – are preparing to take delivery of their Volvo Ocean 65, further down the production line, work has already begun on boat number seven. The other boats will be rolled out over the coming months.
The shift to a strict one-design solution is a radical strategic move for the race – a move that drastically improves cost efficiency for the teams and their sponsors. It also puts more emphasis than ever before on the racing out on the water rather than on who has designed the quickest boat.
"If it hadn't been for the new One Design rule, then I probably wouldn't have done the race again," says Ian Walker, who is returning in 2014-15 to skipper Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. "It's definitely going to be the tightest race in history."
Editors' Notes: The Volvo Ocean Race
- The next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will be the 12th running of the 40-year-old event, which started in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race.
- The race will start on October 4, 2014, day of the first In-Port Race in Alicante, Spain, and finish with one last In-Port Race on June 27, 2015 in Gothenburg, the Swedish home of Volvo.
- The 39,379-nautical mile route will include stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Newport (Rhode Island, US), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France).
- The next two editions will be contested in a new high-performance boat, the Volvo Ocean 65, designed by Farr Yacht Design in the United States and built by a consortium of boatyards in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Switzerland.
- The new 65-foot (19.8-metre) monohull racing yachts will be strictly One Design and delivered “ready to sail”. The boats incorporate the latest video, satellite and content production facilities to further enhance the Onboard Reporter programme that has been in place since 2008-09.
- The all-female Team SCA were the first to announce their participation in the 2014-15 edition. Backed by SCA, the global hygiene and forest products company, they will be the first all-women's team to compete in the race since 2001-02. The second team announced so far, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, will once again feature Britain's twice Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker as skipper.
- The previous Volvo Ocean Race started in October 2011 in Alicante and was won by Groupama sailing team, skippered by Frenchman Franck Cammas, in July 2012.
He did it! - Irv Gordon reaches 3 million miles in his 1966 Volvo 1800S
On September 18, million-miler Irv Gordon and his 1966 Volvo 1800S finally reached their phenomenal goal of hitting the 3 million miles mark – the same distance as 120 laps around the world. They did it near the village of Hope, on the Seward Highway, south of Anchorage in the state of Alaska; the one remaining state where Irv and his famous car had not been together until now.
”It was all rather undramatic,” said Irv. ”We just cruised along and I kept an eye on the odometer in order not to miss the great moment”. At 4.00PM on September 18, the meter ticked over, indicating that Irv and his Volvo had finally achieved those dreamed-of three million miles that they set out to reach many years ago.
“But it has really not been about just getting to the three million miles; it’s more about the trips that got me to the three million miles and what I have experienced getting there,” Irv continues. “I never had a goal to get to one million, to two million. I just enjoyed driving and experiencing life through my Volvo.”
A true love affair
Irv Gordon bought his Volvo 1800 S on a Friday back in 1966 and immediately fell in love. He simply couldn’t stop driving the car – it was a holiday weekend – and brought the car back to the dealership the following Monday for its 1,500-mile service. With a 125-mile round-trip daily commute, a fanatical dedication to vehicle maintenance and a passion for driving, Gordon logged 500,000 miles in 10 years. In 1987, he celebrated his one-millionth mile driving a loop around the Tavern on the Green in Central Park and in 2002, he drove the car's two-millionth mile down Times Square to international media attention. Since then, Gordon has broken his record every time he drives his celebrated car.
A solid world record
For the 3 million mile record, the car was transported on board a covered truck to Alaska and Irv followed by plane. A few days of driving around got the meter closer to the magic mark and the highway leading to the beautiful Seward peninsula was chosen for the occasion. 3,000,000 miles is by far the longest mileage one man and one and the same car have reached together and this world record is included in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Volvo Cars and Volvo Cars Heritage proudly express their congratulations to an outstanding achievement, done by an outstanding gentleman and his outstanding car! This is by far the best proof of Volvo quality, longevity and reliability one could possibly ask for. And Irv Gordon is the man who has done it.
Long Island’s Irv Gordon to Reach Three Million Mile Mark in his Volvo P1800 Today
First Person to Drive Three Million Miles in Same Car Will Reach Ultimate Driving Milestone on Alaska’s Seward Highway
Visit www.3MillionReasons.com to Follow His Journey and Submit Your Reason to Believe
ROCKLEIGH, N.J. (Sept. 17, 2013) – Today, 74-year-old Long Island native and retired science teacher Irv Gordon will reach a milestone no other individual has accomplished in more than 100 years of automobile manufacturing: driving three million miles in the same vehicle – a shiny, cherry red 1966 Volvo P1800.
To mark the occasion, Gordon will drive his three millionth mile today on the Seward Highway – Alaska Highway 1 – along the Turnagain Arm. The “Last Frontier” is one of two U.S. states Gordon has never visited and a fitting backdrop for this historic, record-breaking achievement. Video footage of Gordon’s milestone moment can be viewed later this week at 3MillionReasons.com.
“It’s not about getting to the three million miles; it’s about the trips that got me to the three million miles,” Gordon said. “I never had a goal to get to one million, to two million. I just enjoyed driving and experiencing life through my Volvo.”
“We at Volvo applaud Irv and his Volvo. The spirited red P1800 represents an extraordinary demonstration of reliability, durability, safety and intelligent design that honors all Volvos past and present,” said John Maloney, president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America. “His P1800 is the living embodiment that Volvos are designed around you.”
As a celebration of Gordon’s achievement, Volvo Cars of North America (VCNA) launched a special campaign called “3 Million Reasons to Believe,” that invites people around the world to visit 3MillionReasons.com to follow Irv’s remarkable journey, explore his favorite road trips and share their own reason to believe.
“The best way to explore America is by car,” Gordon added. “I challenge everyone to go out and see as much as possible. Find your own journey and reason to believe because you only have one life to live. No matter how many roads I’ve been on, there’s always one I haven’t taken. That’s what makes it exciting.”
“I bought my Volvo P1800 on a Friday and immediately fell in love,” Gordon recalled. “I couldn’t stop driving the car. It was a holiday weekend, and I brought the car back to the dealership the following Monday for its 1,500-mile service.”
With a 125-mile round-trip daily commute, a fanatical dedication to vehicle maintenance and a passion for driving, Gordon logged 500,000 miles in 10 years. In 1987, he celebrated his one-millionth mile driving a loop around the Tavern on the Green in Central Park. In 1998 with 1.69 million miles, Gordon made the Guinness Book of World Records for most miles driven by a single owner in a non-commercial vehicle. In 2002, he drove the car's two-millionth mile down Times Square to international media attention. Since then, Gordon has broken is record every time he drives his celebrated car.
As Gordon rolls to his three-millionth mile, he notes, “I’m realizing this will be a record that no one will surpass and I’ve been feeling especially sentimental with these last few drives in beautiful Alaska. I’ve enjoyed the expansive landscape, a drive through the long tunnel to Prince William Sound/Whittier and a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. The folks at Continental Volvo in Anchorage were kind enough to throw me a wonderful reception on Saturday.”
“Everyone asks, what’s next? Well, I’ll keep driving my Volvo P1800 to auto shows and taking trips across the country. Not much will change. But whether I drive four million miles is more up to me than it is the car. The car may be able to take it, but I’m not so sure about me.”