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Volvo Penta returns as official engine supplier to Volvo Ocean Race

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Volvo Penta returns as official engine supplier to Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Penta returns as official engine supplier to Volvo Ocean Race

Designed to withstand the toughest conditions on Earth, the Volvo Penta D2-75 with Saildrive engines completed their first lap of the planet in the 2014-15 edition as an essential part of the One Design Volvo Ocean 65 boat.


In the next edition, starting 22 October, Volvo Penta will provide hands-on technical expertise 24/7 to the race teams as the fleet prepares to race three times more Southern Ocean miles than in recent editions.

Although the use of engines as a primary propulsion source is prohibited during racing, the D2-75 engine is a key part of life onboard – powering the boat’s total demand for electricity for computers, navigation equipment, lights and communications units.

Additionally, the engine onboard provides power to the batteries to run the water maker, supplies power to the hydraulic system for the canting keel – which provides extra counterweight when racing – and is a potentially lifesaving instrument in case of an emergency situation.

“The conditions of the Volvo Ocean Race are extreme and not only push the boats and sailing crew to the limit, but, also, all the equipment,” commented Mark Turner, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race.

“These boats have been built for two editions of the race and we have so much faith in the condition of the engines that we have not replaced them; we are confident they are up for a second trip around the world.”

Nick Bice, Chief Technical Development Officer for the Volvo Ocean Race, added: “As a unique aspect for the Volvo Ocean Race, there are high energy requirements to provide power to laptops, camera and other media equipment, enabling the sailing teams to communicate directly from out at sea to the rest of the world.

“The engine is critical 100% of the time. It is the main source of power onboard, which converts energy for which the teams rely upon to survive. They depend on the engine to deliver drinking water, which is essential when the teams are sailing for weeks at a time.”

Volvo Penta engineer Johannes Karlsson – with 16 years experience as a marine engineer, and backed by Volvo Penta’s global dealer network – will deliver full-time support to the event, travelling to every Host City around the world to deliver world-class engine support through The Boatyard.

The Boatyard is a unique shared service centre facility which ensures that all the Volvo Ocean 65s have access to the same level of maintenance and repairs after each leg of the race. Each of the seven Volvo Ocean 65s has recently undergone a comprehensive one million euro per boat refit process in Lisbon, Portugal – and an eighth, identical boat has been built by team AkzoNobel.

Volvo Penta is also providing its next generation of gasoline sterndrive engines and complete prop-to-helm equipment for new RIBs that will be used by the sailing teams at each city where the race stops around the world. The V6 280 model has been provided, delivering the cleanest engines available on the market in the gasoline segment to the sailing teams.

Additionally, Volvo Penta is delivering power generation for the newly designed Volvo Pavilion at each Host City around the world, providing prime power to support business operations, guest hospitality, and the high-tech environment inside. This same technology is used every day to deliver power to people and society around the world.

“Volvo Penta is a proud supplier to the Volvo Ocean Race providing solutions from both our marine and industrial product portfolios,” says Björn Ingemanson, president of Volvo Penta. “We use existing, leading technology, available on the market today for our customers, depending on it to work in the toughest of environments – the world’s most extreme sailing competition.”

The Volvo Ocean Race begins on 22 October 2017 in Alicante and will visit a further 11 Host Cities around the planet – visiting Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff and Gothenburg, before a big finish in The Hague in summer 2018.

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