The first details of the 2010 – 2011 Velux 5 Oceans race have been
announced, and in amongst them is the Eco 60 class.In
recent events, the older Open 60s have been racing amongst themselves,
as they aren’t competitive with the new generation. Clipper Ventures aim
to formalize this.The
proposed Eco 60 class is open to any IMOCA 60 launched before 2004, and
is intended to put a green coat of paint on this unofficial competition.
The aim appears to be to reduce the environmental impact of racing boats.
Few details have been given, but he use of fossil fuels will be limited,
and penalties awarded if more than a certain amount is used.Whilst
Joyon has already circumnavigated without fossil fuels, the Open 60s remain
dependent upon diesel. The reason given is that satellite communications
require too much power to be driven of renewable sources. Costs will be
controlled by limiting the number of sails, shore crew and weather information.
Structural modifications will be restricted, and need to be approved by
the class, which will be run by RORC.