Seahorse December 2005

The 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race is off and running. Last weekend during the Sanxenxo In-Port race, we got our first glimpse at the differences between the boats. There are obviously some different designs out there but there are also some more subtle differences between boats of the same design philosophy. The most obvious difference was that between the Farr design represented by 4 of the boats and the 2 Juan K boats of ABN Amro which are closed to the Open 60 genre. The ABN boats have quite wide water line sections which will be useful in more breeze but which were noting but drag in the 8 knot opener.

While these conditions are not representative of the average that we will encounter on our way around the world, it was quite interesting since it was the first time we all lined up side by side. Ericsson won the race by starting to the left and going to the left corner where they picked up a bit more pressure. We managed a third which I was pleased with for an opener. What was most useful to us was to see some of the specialty sails that the other measured in and to see if they are worthy of on of our precious 24 sails cards. We did see some “Code 0’s” which were not impressive and if they don