Founded in 1991 and recognised by ISAF (International Sailing Federation) since 1998, IMOCA is the class association, which takes care of 60-foot Open monohulls (18.28 metres). With more than twenty skippers signed up, its championship includes two round the world races, a round Europe race and several ocean races. The IMOCA class aims to make ocean racing more international and it brings together ideas about competitions, innovation, human adventure and safety.
The goals of the IMOCA class are to develop the fleet of 60-foot monohulls and to offer skippers an attractive and coherent programme. IMOCA defines the rules ensuring fairness, while encouraging innovation and developing the safety of the boats.
Most of the races are solo and double-handed and its world championship rewards exceptional sailors, who race on the most difficult seas in the world. As it has developed, IMOCA has always paid particular attention to encouraging greater respect for the environment, with renewable energy not merely seen as a resource, but also an important element in terms of performance.
L'IMOCA rassemble en son sein et en premier lieu des skippers (membres actifs) et les personnalités impliquées dans le développement de la Classe et de ses projets : sponsors des bateaux, chefs de projets, architectes, constructeurs (membres associés). La première fonction de l'IMOCA est d'abord d'établir les règles qui régiront les courses, en partenariat avec les organisateurs, avec comme objectif majeur d'améliorer toujours la sécurité des navigateurs. L'IMOCA réaffirme pour autant la vocation des monocoques de 60 pieds d'être de fabuleux laboratoires dédiés à l'innovation technologique et susceptibles d'apporter de nouvelles solutions à l'industrie nautique.
The IMOCA class was set up under the impulse of 50 and 60 foot monohull racers and more precisely, Isabelle Autissier, Alain Gautier, Christophe Auguin and Jean-Luc Van den Heede, who after a testing 1996-1997 Vendée Globe, felt the need to create a common platform and rules bringing together racers, which would allow them to make progress, both in terms of racing and in the area of safety.
To make things perfectly clear, IMOCA focused on the leading class, in other words the Open 60 monohulls. The IMOCA class then organised itself so that today it is the reference partner for the organisers of major Ocean Racing events. With the support of the French Sailing Federation, IMOCA is now recognised by ISAF, the international organisation, which coordinates sailing activities around the world.
Grouped together the racers within IMOCA are daily protagonists in this technological laboratory that is an IMOCA monohull. The evolution of the class measurement has enabled the safety of the boats to really be stepped up a gear (righting and stability testing, reinforcing of passive safety, escape hatches,…), thus helping to constantly improve onboard living conditions and safety.
IMOCA is also working in the domain of research and development to find lasting and environmentally-friendly solutions.
Indeed, as the first witnesses of the effects of climate change and committed to the need to respect the environment, the IMOCA skippers are playing an important part each day. As such, in terms of the development and the fine tuning of solutions involving alternative energy production in particular (hydropower, wind power, solar power, fuel cells), their mission involves developing hybrid solutions and the construction of boats built to last.
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