New boat announced for Velux 5 Oceans

Clipper Ventures today published the inaugural rules and regulations in relation to the Eco 60, a new class of offshore racing boats who will compete for the first time in the VELUX 5 OCEANS 2010-11. The rules, developed over the last 12 months by the Race Management and a dedicated team of experts, will ensure the safety of the skippers and the boats racing in their own competitive fleet, as well as introduce regulations to reduce costs and encourage a sustainable future for the class.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of Clipper Ventures, concluded, “The Eco 60 Class is an exciting new concept that has proven to be extremely popular with skippers and sponsors alike, with ten entries now confirmed for the next VELUX 5 OCEANS. The race remains open to all offshore racing skippers with an Open 60 to compete in either our Eco 60 Class or our Open 60 Class.”

“Clipper Ventures has organised nine highly successful round the world yacht races and we take pride in our exemplary track record of safety at sea. We have worked with the leading experts in offshore racing to define the Eco 60 Class rules so that we maintain these high standards and deliver an accessible racing platform that is suited to the current economic climate and environmental issues.”

The Eco 60 Class, open to 60 foot racing yachts launched before January 2003 that meet the class rules for safety and stability, is designed to broaden the reach of singlehanded offshore racing. The Eco 60 Class is intended to provide a low cost platform for sailors with limited budgets to break into the world of singlehanded professional sailing, whilst also encouraging skippers to embrace renewable energy sources. The class will deliver a competitive sporting arena for a diverse group of skippers, ranging in nationalities, racing experience and motivations. Meanwhile, the Open 60 Class will be open to all Open 60s launched after January 2003 and will race alongside the Eco 60 Class over the five ocean sprints.

David Adams, Race Director of the VELUX 5 OCEANS, commented, “The Eco 60 Class is committed to being safe, reliable, sustainable, low cost, accessible and high return. We have brought together a world class group of experts to manage the rules for this fleet and will work with all the Eco 60 entries in the VELUX 5 OCEANS to ensure that the fleet of boats meet our requirements and are ready to take on, and be in the best possible position to complete, The Ultimate Solo Challenge.”

The foundations of the class, which developed from the first BOC Challenge in 1982, illustrate the established reliability and safety of the boats that fall within the Eco 60 category. In the Vendée Globe 2008, of the 30 boats that crossed the start line, seven fall within the Eco 60 Class. Of those seven, all but one successfully made it back to Les Sables D'Olonne to finish the singlehanded circumnavigation of the planet, comprising the majority of the final eleven finishers. These statistics illustrate the proven track record of durability and performance of the Eco 60 boats and there ongoing ability to circumnavigate the planet.

Merfyn Owen of Owen Clark Yacht Design added, “There are a significant number of Eco 60 Class boats on the market for sale around the world. We are getting more and more enquiries in relation to these existing 60's for the VELUX 5 OCEANS. Prices are at their lowest for this generation of Open 60's and so they offer a platform that can deliver a great return for a sponsor for a considerably lower investment than a new boat.”

To download the full Eco 60 Rules document, please visit

If you have any specific questions relating to the Eco 60 Class, please contact


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