Volvo Ocean Race director Jack Lloyd will lend his vast international experience and expertise to the Vendée Globe when the single-handed offshore challenge starts next month, with the New Zealander making time in his schedule to take a place on the international jury.
“We’ve got no reason to compete with other long distance ocean races. We need to learn together" - Jack Lloyd
Lloyd has been Race director for the last two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, has worked on four America’s Cups and was New Zealand's rules advisor during the 2012 Olympics.
He met with the 20 skippers that will start the Vendée Globe last weekend in Les Sables d’Olonne and went through the sailing instructions with the four other jury members.
“It’s very interesting!" says Lloyd. "Many things are the same between both races. The difference is that you have to think about one person doing something and not 10 people.
“For our last three events, the Volvo Ocean Race owned the class rules while the Vendée Globe is using the IMOCA class, which adds a level of complexity.
“We also went on board Mike Golding’s boat to have a look. There are a lot of similarities with what we are trying to introduce in a small way with our new one-design boat – making the boats a bit safer, offering more protection.”
After travelling the world for two Volvo Ocean Races, after working at the Olympics this summer, how does the Kiwi rules expert feel about the French offshore race?
“I’ve always followed it since the Internet really!” he says with a smile. “It’s an interesting race when you live in New Zealand or in Australia because it spends so much time in your part of the world and it’s where most of the things happen.
“There are so many fascinating tales: the guy finishing the race without a keel, people trapped inside boats, people operating on their own bodies or spending days up in their rigs fixing it...
“We do things differently at Volvo Ocean Race for lots of different reasons. But we share areas where we’ve had problems and found solutions.
“We’ve got no reason to compete with other long distance ocean races. We need to learn together.”
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