Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rail Ride

onEdition 2008©
Mike Golding onboard Ecover 3 during the Technical Alliance testing.


Two of Britain's most famous solo skippers, Mike Golding and Dee Caffari,move into the next stage of their ground-breaking technical alliance todevelop the fastest Open 60 possible ahead of this year's gruelling soloround the world yacht race, the Vendee Globe 2008/09. Caffari and Golding,who between them have circumnavigated the global on eight different occasions, have developed an intensive testing programme to find acompetitive advantage over the 30-strong Vendee Globe fleet and inparticular the impressive French contingent.

The two skippers announced the technical alliance, the first of its kindbetween British Open 60 teams, in March 2007. The alliance led to theconstruction of two identical sister-ships in Aviva and Ecover 3 and this summer Caffari and Golding will be testing the two boats against each other to maximise performance.

The Aviva Ocean Racing and Ecover teams are taking a leaf out of Formula 1'sbook and believe in the merits of testing against similar machines. Theupcoming period of two-boat testing will set the two Open 60s against eachother much like the way F1 teams do with their two cars. One of the boats will be set as a control whilst the other makes changes to the sail trim, ballast and keel angle to determine the most effective set up. The ultimateaim is to find the optimum performance that will give the skippers an edge to challenge the French dominance of the Vendee Globe race. -Caroline Ayling ­ Aviva Ocean Racing