11th Hour Racing Team is one step closer in its ambition to compete in and win The Ocean Race 2022-23 with the announcement that the Team is building a brand new IMOCA 60 in Brittany, France.
Skipper, Charlie Enright, and Team CEO, Mark Towill, have brought together three of the most experienced and successful offshore racing expert organizations to conceptualize, design and build the boat.
The new IMOCA 60 is being designed by Guillaume Verdier, one of yacht racing’s most prolific designers with America’s Cup winners, Ultime record-breakers and was involved in the design of four of the last five Vendée Globe winners. Verdier brings together the very best minds in the offshore sailing world to work collaboratively across all areas including structural design to routing, engineering to computational fluid dynamics.
11th Hour Racing Team’s strategic partner for the technical and performance aspects of the new boat build is MerConcept, led by offshore racing veteran François Gabart who won the Vendée Globe in 2012. MerConcept, an Entreprise à Mission [purpose-led company] more recently led the build of Apivia – the latest generation foiling IMOCA, which is a front-runner for the upcoming single-handed round the world race. A group of nearly a dozen engineers, designers and analysts are working on the analytics and data for the performance analysis of the new design.
The boat is being built by CDK Technologies, based out of Lorient and Port-la-Forêt, France, who have constructed many of the leading offshore sailing boats in the sport, including the last three winners of the Vendée Globe and the largest racing trimaran ever built, the Maxi Banque Populaire V.
“When we learned that The Ocean Race was going to be open to a development class we jumped at the opportunity,” commented skipper, Charlie Enright. “We’ve done two laps of the planet now in the one-design Volvo Ocean 65s and are very excited to take this next step in the Race with a custom design and build process.”
Team CEO Towill agreed, “The challenge that we have in front of us now is taking an IMOCA 60 and turning it into a fully crewed Ocean Race boat and integrating sustainability at every step in the process. It’s something that no-one’s ever done before and that to me is the most exciting part of our campaign.”
The Ocean Race co-owner Johan Salen spoke in July 2018 about his vision for teams to embrace the design challenge. “By opening the next
The boat build announcement is the latest news from the Newport, Rhode Island-based Team, which boosted its crew line up two weeks ago. “We recently announced three new crew members, Simon Fisher, Kyle Langford and Rob Greenhalgh, and will be trialing further crew members to join 11th Hour Racing Team. Thankfully we have a very supportive partner in 11th Hour Racing who has allowed us to stick to the original plan and vision, supporting an extra year’s worth of testing, trials, training and racing in the build-up to The Ocean Race 2022-23. It’s going to be an incredible journey,” concluded Towill.