The M32s are the new face of the Volvo Ocean Race ‘Guest Speed Experience’ programme, introduced to allow guests to experience high performance sailing during stopovers.
Weighing in at just over 500kgs, these 32-foot carbon-fibre speed machines are capable of lightning-quick acceleration with the speedo topping out at around 27 knots, but the two hulls and simple rig put safety at the forefront.
As such, the M32s are the perfect tool to allow high profile Volvo Ocean Race guests to experience high performance sailing first hand.
And because of their size and manoeuvrability they can be raced close to the shore, adding to the spectacle in Host Cities for the hundreds of thousands of visitors to our Race Villages.
The introduction of the M32s not only provides guests with an adrenaline-fuelled experience but also ease the pressure on the Volvo Ocean Race crews, allowing them to focus solely on preparing their VO65s for In-Port Races and ocean legs, while in turn providing even more value for sponsors and stakeholders.
“The M32 is an awesome boat to step onto,” explains Sally Barkow, who raced with Team SCA in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race and now competes on the World Match Racing Tour with the professional sailors in the same M32 catamarans used for the Guest Speed Experience.
“It's really controllable but you get an incredible sensation of going really fast. You can see the water rushing underneath you through the trampoline – it's a really cool experience.
“We've had guests onboard before and they've described it as like being on a rollercoaster. A ride on one of these boats is one of the best opportunities in the world.”
Visitors to the Volvo Ocean Race's Alicante Race Village will already have seen the M32s in action this past weekend in the four-day Alicante Match Cup, a qualifier for the 2018 World Match Racing Tour.
The event is the result of a collaboration between the Volvo Ocean Race and the World Match Racing Tour, complementing the action at the start of the 2017-18 event.
And this week, VIP guests have the opportunity to sail with the Volvo Ocean Race teams in the Guest Speed Experience programme.