Grant Dalton, skipper of the Nautor Challenge men's crew, announced
he will race the Volvo Ocean 60 designed by Nautor's Swan Frers design house.
Nautor Challenge, Nautor's Swan round the world racing team, has built two
new yachts in a bid to claim the most prestigious of ocean racing trophies,
the Volvo Ocean Race, previously Whitbread Round the World Race. One from
the drawing board of Milan-based Frers design office and the other from
Annapolis-based Farr Yacht Design. Stringent tests have been carried out on
both yachts over recent weeks to determine which yacht will be raced by the
men's team, skippered by Grant Dalton and which yacht will be entered by the
women's team, skippered by Lisa McDonald.
Dalton commented; "It's appropriate that we'll be racing the V.O.60 designed
by Swan's designers. We'll be aiming to use this to emulate Swan 65 Sayula
II's victory in the first ever Whitbread in 1973/74."
Dalton went on to say; "We have hard data on the performance of each boat in
various conditions. We have taken that data and run it against weather data
from previous races. It was close between the two boats. Some years the
Frers would have won and in others it would have been the Farr."
He continued; "Then we ran our performance data against data on the weather
likely to be encountered from September 23. This is where accurate data
comes into contact with knowledge of historic weather, intuition, gut
feeling and to an extent, crystal ball gazing.
"In the end it was a subjective decision. We could have played it safe and
taken the Farr boat because the Farr people are very experienced designers
to the V.O.60 rule and we knew we would have a boat which is equal to the
other Farr boats in the fleet. The other option was to go with the Frers
design because in the testing it has shown the potential to be a hard boat
Frers design team has been the design house for Nautor's Swan for many years.
Swans that have competed in previous Whitbread Round the World Races:
|55/012||Tauranga||S&S Design||1973-74||10||Italian||Eric Pascoli|
|55||Walross III Berlin||S&S Design||1981-82||18||D.F.R.||Michel Hahn Reichardt|
|57/028||Berge Viking||S&S Design||1981-82||8||Norway||Peter Lunde|
|57/047||Shadow of Switzerland||S&S Design||1985-86||12||Switzerland||Otto & Nora Zehender - Muller|
|65/003||Sayula II||S&S Design||1973-74||1||Mexico||Ramon Carlin|
|65||Kings Legend||S&S Design||1977-78||2||GB||Nick Ratcliffe & Mike Clancy|
|65||Disque D'Or||S&S Design||1977-78||4||Switzerland||Pierre Fehlmann|
|65||ADC Accutrac||S&S Design||1977-78||5||GB||Clare Francis|
|65||Xargo III||S&S Design||1981-82||6||South Africa||Padda Kuttel|
|651/11||Fazer Finland||Frers Design||1985-86||3||Finland||Michael Berner|