Mike Golding's Open 60 Team Group 4 has undergone keel modifications in preparation for The Vendée Globe 2000 singlehanded non stop round the world race in November.
In an effort to comply with the angle of vanishing stability (AVS) ruling, Mike Golding’s Open 60 Team Group 4 has undergone keel modifications in preparation for The Vendée Globe 2000 singlehanded non stop round the world race in November.
‘We have made these modifications to comply the rules of both FICO and IMOCA.’ Says Golding. ‘FICO’s rules say that we must have an AVS stability of 125 with our sails up and IMOCA’s state that we must reach an AVS value of 127.5 with our sails down.’ The re-designed keel bomb has been developed using hydrodynamic information obtained from the recent America’s Cup. And ,unlike the old bomb which was solid lead, the new bomb is built using tungsten which is a heavier material.
‘Tungsten weighs approximately twice as much as lead and is a very good material to use in keel bombs,’ added Golding. ‘This means that, although the new bomb is heavier than the old bomb, it is actually more hydrodynamically efficient. We have gained some weight, but we have improved our hydrodynamic performance as well as increasing the power of the boat.’
Team Group 4’s immediate sailing plans, following its re-launch this week at Hamble, include the Europe 1 New Man STAR, which starts from Plymouth on June 4. Here the team will have a chance to analyse whether the additional weight has affected any other parts of the system, such as the hydraulics or even further up the rigging, all of which have as much as a five per cent increase in load as a result of the modification to the keel.