11th Hour Racing preps for The Ocean Race 2022-23 with new IMOCA 60

Team’s new vessel was designed by Guillaume Verdier and is being built in Brittany, France by CDK Technologies.

NEWPORT, Rhode Island—We’re still a way away from the next iteration of The Ocean Race, but 11th Hour Racing is already making moves to challenge – and possibly beat – the field of competitors. One of those moves: overseeing the completion of the boat the team will use in the race.

Team skipper Charlie Enright and CEO Mark Towill announced they assembled a group of offshore sailing experts to conceptualize, design and build the new 11th Hour Racing boat. The collaborative venture will ultimately result in the completion of the IMOCA 60, which is being built in Brittany, France. The boat is expected to be ready in time for The Ocean Race 2022-23.

Guillaume Verdier, a yacht designer who provided his services to America’s Cup and Vendée Globe winners, is designing the IMOCA 60. The technical and performance aspects of the IMOCA 60 are being overseen by MerConcept and offshore racing veteran François Gabart. (Gabart won the Vendée Globe race in 2022.)

CDK Technologies, which is based out of Larient and Port-la-Forêt, France, is building the IMOCA 60.

“When we learned that The Ocean Race was going to be open to a development class we jumped at the opportunity,” Enright said in a released statement. “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.”

The designers and builders are crafting the IMOCA 60 specifically for The Ocean Race’s racecourse, which feature 10 stopovers and multiple equator crossings. The boat is also being designed to allow for five crew (four men, one woman), an onboard reporter and heading-only autopilot.

Enright and Towill said the design process began in June 2019. The IMOCA 60 is now having its hull completed. Next up for CDK Technologies: the deck structure.

11th Hour Racing’s sustainability team, meanwhile, is overseeing the environmental impact of the build process.

The Ocean Race, which debuted in 1973, pits yachts in a race around the world. The race takes place every three to four years. It was originally known as the Whitbread Round the World Race before changing its name in 2001 as Volvo Ocean Race. Organizers change the name again in 2019 to The Ocean Race.

The 2022-23 race starts in Alicante, Spain and makes stops at the following locations: Cape Verde; Cape Town, South Africa; Shenzhen, China; Auckland, New Zealand; Itajaí, Brazil; Newport, Rhode Island; Aarhus, Denmark; and, The Hague, Netherlands.

Genoa, Italy, is the race’s grand finale and finish line.

Dongfeng Race Team (China) is the defending champion; the team won the 2017-18 race, which began in Alicante and end in the Hague. The race’s stopovers were at Lisbon (Portugal), Cape Town (South Africa). Melbourne (Australia), Guangzhou (China), Hong Kong (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff (United Kingdon) and Gothenburg (Sweden).

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