The Barcelona World Race is raced on IMOCA 60 yachts, specially design for solo and double- handed ocean sailing.
The boat was born in 1986 and has been in constant evolution since. It is now one of the fastest mono-hulls in existence. It is built in composite materials, so as to be as light as possible, with significant speed gains, and tough enough to withstand the grueling conditions taken on in a round the world regatta.
The IMOCA 60 is an ‘open class’. That means that designers enjoy a level of freedom with the design, but within certain parameters, a set of maximum measurements stipulated for the IMOCA 60 Class, which are: 60 feet (18.29 meters) length, 4.5 meters draught and a maximum mast height of 29 meters above the waterline. These are veritable giants of the sea: as long as a three- axle lorry, as high as a three-storey building. The yachts’ sail area in fair winds is bigger than three tennis courts.
However, the interiors of these yachts are anything but spacious: just ten meters squared for two people to live in for three months during the Barcelona World Race.The hull shape and rigging features are designed for ocean sailing. They take into account the average wind direction and swell encountered in a west-east round the world regatta. With preferred conditions being fair winds, the IMOCA 60s have hulls with smooth lines, for gliding over the waves, allowing the boats to hit peak speeds of around 25 knots.