clippings Sunday Business Post

Volvo Ocean Race Boats – boxy but good

There’s a saying about Volvos – “They’re boxy but they’re good”.

The quote comes from an old Dudley Moore film, Crazy People, about an ad executive who loses it, ends up in an asylum and ends up writing ‘honest’ ads that manage to strike a chord. Hence: Volvos – they’re boxy but they’re good. Were he writing about Volvo 70s, the race yachts, the ‘boxy but good’ line would still stand up. They’re not pretty, but they do the job they were designed for.

Below the fold there’s a video of the OLD Volvo Ocean Race boats, showing how they tackled the rough stuff. These buys punch boat-shaped holes in the ocean at alarming intervals and breackneck speeds. There’s no airbags or crumple zones on these suckers, just hard carbon fibre and salt water.

I hitched a ride on one of the new ones to get a glimpse of life sailing on the edge. The feature is here. (August 17, 2008)


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