The Volvo Ocean Race entrants have left Lisbon on their way to the French city of Lorient. At 1,940 nautical miles it is one of the shorter legs of the race, but with areas of potential light winds that could hamper progress. These types of conditions are just one of many that the boats have to undertake during each leg, and for which the craft’s designers and builders must account.
Some of the conditions the Azzam must be built to face
For Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Azzam, design team Farr Yacht Design was given the task of creating a vessel that could withstand the pummel of Southern Ocean waves and wind, to the doldrums across the Equator, and everything in between. The design team must adhere to strict guidelines issued by Volvo Ocean Race: macro considerations like boat dimensions and hull thickness, to the more detailed rules on bunk size for the crew. None of these considerations can be taken lightly – both the craft and crew must withstand harrowing and tiring conditions during the nine months of the Race. This was seen acutely when the Azzam experienced hull damage during Leg 5. This damage was mitigated by at-sea repairs – made possible by ingenuity in the boat’s design.
One of the many steps in getting Azzam built
Once the design for Azzam was complete it was handed off to the ship’s builders, in this case at the Persico boatyard in Nembro, Italy. Here the build team constructed the mould, focusing on any measure that could save overall weight.
The on-shore build team for Azzam
Teamwork between the designers and builders is also crucial to the success of the finished product. To that end Persico collaborated with the Farr design team on ways to modify the construction to improve performance and function of the boat. One way they achieved this was by using a Kevlar honeycomb on the foredeck, which sheds water and keeps the deck safer and without additional weight.
She’s getting there… Azzam at the Persico boatyard
In the end the Farr Yacht Design team dedicated over 26,000 hours in the planning, calculating, and engineering of Azzam. That innovation combined with the exacting precision shown by the Persico build team are traits we value highly at IWC. Always searching to improve, and always ensuring we are creating the very best.
The striking colors that will be slicing through the ocean
A salute to both teams and to the crew who have stewarded Azzam around the globe and kept her going strong.