As seven of the eight yachts competing in the forthcoming Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) battle it out in this week’s RORC Rolex Fastnet Race, they will be carrying a lot less weight on the transom than ever before, thanks to an unparalleled innovation from Ocean Safety.
The new Ocean Ultralite SOLAS compact liferaft is a totally new concept derived from Ocean Safety’s original space-saving Ocean Ultralite liferaft. It uses carbon composite technology to achieve a significant 23% weight saving, a vital boost in the search for speed. Certified to SOLAS standards, the Ocean Ultralite is a great example of product innovation and development, which is the result of a close technical partnership between VOR organisers and Ocean Safety.
Alistair Hackett of Ocean Safety explains “Weight saving in ocean racing is the holy grail. We seized an opportunity to work with the VOR team to find a solution that would reduce the weight of the 12 person liferafts to enhance performance, while conforming to international SOLAS standards. The key areas of development were the inflation system, pack contents and the construction of the canister. Despite the weight reduction, the liferaft containers are still incredibly robust to withstand the harsh environments that they will endure on the open ocean.”
Alistair adds “Ocean Safety has worked closely with Volvo for a number of years and so to develop this world’s first with them is a testament to our relationship. This new product shows our ability to be innovative, ensuring that Ocean Safety is supplying the best equipment on the market. As a team, we are incredibly proud of what we have achieved.”
As well as being supplied to the Volvo fleet the new 12 person SOLAS Ocean Ultralite has been added to Ocean Safety’s extensive catalogue of safety equipment. It is likely to be sought after by large ocean going and grand prix maxi racing yachts around the world.
Each Volvo 65 yacht will carry two 12-person Ocean Ultralites, not just on the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race, but around the globe when the fleet cross the start line in Alicante in October 2017.