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The University of Southampton

Volvo Ocean yachts helped by Wolfson Unit

Yachts competing at the 2005 Volvo Ocean Race benefited from marine technology and industrial aerodynamics expertise at the University's Wolfson Unit.

The Unit was instrumental in getting the race yachts on the water thanks to its role as technical consultant to the Volvo Race Management Group. During its consultancy period, the Unit worked on creating the 'Volvo 70 Rule' for the race.

From conception in early 2003, through development of the rule, the Unit has assisted in developing procedures governing issues such as yacht stability and essential structural integrity requirements.

Once the Volvo 70 Rule was created, the Wolfson Unit was selected by the Race Management Group to assist in appraising technical documentation relating to the structural requirements of the Volvo Open 70 Rule. Each boat design had a building plan appraisal, assessing the documentation provided by the designers, and checking compliance with the essential safety requirements of the EC Recreational Craft Directive.

In 2004, the Wolfson Unit also conducted tests in the towing tank to aid the development of two ABN AMRO Dutch Bank-sponsored boats, designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian. This involved an extended investigation into seven different yacht hull shapes in the towing tank at neighbouring Southampton Solent University.

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