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7702
IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad issued a statement on Wednesday expressing his concern at the continuing instances of boats suffering serious damage in the 2011-12 edition.

"It is not acceptable that in a race like this we have so many failures" - Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Knut Frostad

Frostad, who competed in the race four times himself, said it was not acceptable to have so many incidents of boats failing in a Volvo Ocean Race. Frostad said race organisers would continue to do everything possible to get the boats not currently sailing back in the race as soon as possible.

Text of statement, which was released after Groupama sailing team announced they had suffered a broken mast, leaving only two boats currently racing in Leg 5 from Auckland in New Zealand to Itajaí in Brazil:

"It's too early to conclude exactly why this has happened but we are obviously concerned about seeing so many incidents of damage to our boats both in this leg and in the race as a whole.

"It is not acceptable that in a race like this we have so many failures. It is not unusual for boats to suffer problems, and sailors and shore teams are used to having to deal with some issues with their boats, but this has been on a bigger scale than in the past.

"It's important that we don't leap to any conclusions about why these breakages have happened. Some of them are clearly not related. However, we will take the current issues into account as we make decisions on rules and technology we will be using in the future.

"We have already put in a lot of work, discussing with teams, designers and all other stakeholders about the boats and the rules we will use in the future, and we expect to be in a position to announce a decision on that before the end of the current race.

"For the time being, our focus continues to be on the safety of the sailors. We are doing everything we can to help Groupama, and the rest of the teams not currently sailing, back in the race as soon as possible."

Comments

  • This is high performance racing and things will go wrong. At least our Satellite comms are working to enable the shore crews to know what to bring to fix the boats!

  • the whole race and boats needs overhauling - only 6 boats on the start line and for this leg alone we will (hopefully..) have only 1 finisher who hasn't made a stop for repairs. It is possible to combine exciting boats with safety you know... - perhaps one design really is the way to go...

  • Let's take over the MOD 70´s for the next race.

  • The VOR is currently at the same place rallying was in the 80's when they were driving +700hp Audi Quattros. Awesome to watch, but bloody dangerous and probably needs to return to a bit of sanity. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqDl1s99QOU

  • The problem is not the boats but the format of the race. In the old race is was a true 'Round the World'campaign. If you broke your boat, you were out, so the boats were designed to go the distance, with speed being secondary to durability. Now it is possible to miss legs and still win overall, so the designers have opted for speed instead of durability. There needs to be stringent penalties for a DNF.

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IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race

CEO Knut Frostad speaks to the media ahead of leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, in Cape Town, South Africa.