The Volvo Open 70 (sometimes referred to as a Volvo Ocean 70 or VOR70) is the former class of racing yachts designed for the Volvo Ocean Race. The VOR70 is not a singular yacht design or boat but rather a set of design rules to which competing boats must adhere. This is similar to the concept to the design and construction rules that define a racing car. Competing teams design and build boats within the scope of this rule to try and come up with the fastest boat for the expected conditions of the race.

  • She measures 36 metres from the bulb to the top of her mast. That is equivalent to an 11 or 12 floor apartment building.
  • The bulb weight 4,500 kilos – is the same as three Volvo estate cars.
  • The rest of her is quite trim. Her total weight is 12,500 kilos – eight per cent less than the 10-foot shorter V.O.60 (the predecessor to the Volvo Open 70).
  • The Volvo Open 70 will be able to set up to 775 square metres at a time – equivalent to 11 apartments or three tennis courts.
  • An articulated city-bus with room for up to 130 passengers is 18 metres long. The Volvo Open 70 is 21.5m.
  • And she is so wide (up to 5.7 metres) that you can put the large Volvo XC90 across her deck and still be able to walk by.


LOA (Length Overall): 21.48m (70′)
Beam: 5.68m (18′ 7′”)
Draft: 4.49m (14′ 8″)
Displacement: 13,800kg (30423 Ibs)
Top Speed: 30+ knots


The team was established and funded by Russian supermarket chain Team Russia founder Oleg Zherebtsov. Team Russia was the only Volvo Open 70 campaign to be funded by an individual and without sponsorship. Design work commenced in June 2007, leading to an intensive two-month research and development programme before construction commenced in August 2007.

The boat is very avant-garde in her design. “The Team Russia VO70 is characterised by her aggressive spray rails, bluff bow and low chines. She has shown evidence of real pace, clocking numerous 500nm-plus 24 hour runs on Legs 1 & 2 as well as a 300nm-plus run in 13 hours during qualifying.” – Humphreys Yacht Design

In June 2008 the boat was christened in partnership with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society as ‘Kosatka’, the Russian for Orca or Killer Whale.

In October 2008 Kosatka and the team and started the 10th edition Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante. Unfortunately Due to ‘insufficient funds’ Team Russia had to suspend racing upon arrival in Singapore at the end of Leg 3. They officially withdrew from legs 4, 5, and 6 of the race, and whilst the team hoped to re-join for the last legs of the race, this was not possible, however the team did sail Leg 10 beside the rest of the fleet to their hometown of St Petersberg.

“Monster Project” is in great condition with a large sail wardrobe. She has been comprehensively overhauled since it’s purchase by the Project Racing team in September 2014. She is a yacht to set records or provide top rate sailing experiences inshore or offshore and she’s doing just that.

Fuel for the crew

To say that a sailing boat is driven solely by air is not the full truth. You need to add water and food for the crew. They consume a lot. The average male, living a normal life, requires approximately 3,000 calories (Kcal) per day and about 2.5 litres of water. A Volvo Open 70 crewmember requires twice as much: 6,000 kcal and 5 litres of water (7.5 litres a day in the heat, close to the equator). During a long leg of the race, at least 1,000 litres of water is required – just for drinking. Poor nutrient equals low human performance, which equals low sailing speeds. It is just like a car – no fuel, no speed. Although the amount of fuel needed for a racing boat is significantly lower than for a car, kcal consumed by the crew – approximately 54,000/day – and distance travelled –say 400 nautical miles/day – would, in car terms, be equivalent to a fuel consumption of 0.91 litres/100m.  400 horsepower!

British yacht designer Simon Rogers at Rogers Yacht Design calculated how much power a boat like this can pull out of fresh air: “Say that you have 20 knots downwind. The boat will then travel at approximately the same speed. The power you need to achieve that is approximately 270 horsepower,” Simon said. “In more extreme weather, above 30 knots, it would be possible to make the Volvo Open 70 generate forces equivalent to 400 horsepower. I would not be surprised if the speed under such conditions momentarily can exceed 35 knots.” These maximum speeds are reached when the boat can use power from both wind and waves. If only wind was to be used (flat water is rare in stormy weather, but it occurs sometimes), a rough estimate is that the boat could reach speeds of more than 25 knots. That means that if this boat came up alongside a merchant vessel in a storm, it is possible that the race boat would travel significantly faster. As we said initially, this boat loves stormy weather.

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