Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen 2018 UK A2030XHL 728x90

New Formula Foil Ocean Racing Championships (FFORC) launched with a £50,000 prize for the winner

by Stuart Greenfield 13 Sep 11:09 BST
Formula Foil Ocean Racing Championships © Stuart Greenfield

A new race format named Formula Foil Ocean Racing Championships (FFORC) with a minimum of 10 teams, sailing 10 races, over 10,000nm offering a total prize fund of £80,000 for the winners has been announced for 2020.

Racing in identical Beneteau Figaro 3 yachts FFORC has been launched by a new business created by Stuart Greenfield. The championship will run from Spring 2020 until February 2021, and then yearly, the winner will be declared in Antigua. The championship is open to any Beneteau Figaro 3 with a minimum crew of 4 and maximum crew weight limit of 500kg. The yachts will be hand steered and be strictly one design.

The concept will begin with 10 identical yachts being made available to the first 10 teams entering on a fully managed basis. The yachts will run by the new company from a single base on the Isle of Wight and offered to teams on a fully 'step-on and race' basis for £75,000(+ VAT) * for the championship. This includes full use of a race prepared Beneteau Figaro 3 yacht and a set number of training and leisure days plus all maintenance and race entries. Teams may be amateur, sponsored, or fully professional. Amateur teams, if needed, will be provided with training and relevant first aid, sea survival and radio VHF courses to achieve the necessary qualifications to meet the Category 1 standard to which the races will comply. All races will count towards the results with no discards.

*price for teams signing up before 1st January 2019

The race program will provide a range of offshore races in the English Channel before venturing on longer races to Ireland, Lanzarote, and finally a transatlantic race. The race program will ensure that all crews build up their experience in longer more challenging races over the 10-month championship. There will also be a small inshore element to include races such as Round the Island.

The race management will include race training and coaching, where necessary, to ensure crews reach the highest proficiency. The yachts will be equipped to World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations Category 1. The schedule is uniquely designed so that most racing is at weekends and to compete teams will only have to set aside a normal standard employed holiday commitment to compete in all races thereby ensuring that team members can remain fixed over the full period. Of course, it is also envisaged that teams could be made up of a squad of members and this is also an acceptable format. The aim is to enable teams to compete at the highest standard in the world's newest and most exciting foiling yachts and still have a day job.

The £75,000 package enables an amateur crew of 5 people without sponsorship to race for 10 months, every week if they wanted, for £15,000 per head per year. This concept offers one of the most exciting opportunities to race in the most innovative foiling mono-hulls without having to buy, run or maintain the yacht themselves. For sponsors the opportunity to promote their brands to an international audience will be fulfilled by the very latest, tracking, drone and satellite communications fitted to every yacht. For the English Channel races the fleet will be followed day and night by a high-speed offshore motor boat fitted with drone and satellite upload capabilities to bring a completely immersive experience for online followers. For new and younger teams this also adds an element of safety to the format.

Companies wishing to enter the championship for promotional and brand development or for corporate incentives for staff will be offered full access to the FFORC marketing and communications teams to ensure that there is a measurable return on investment delivered. FFORC will also provide racing skippers and qualified team members if required by corporate teams.

Offshore racing is currently growing in popularity especially in smaller yachts with a focus towards fewer crew. This gives each member of the team more to do and more excitement with a focus on adventure. The Formula Foil Ocean Racing Championship (FFORC) format provides all these key selling points with none of the downsides of owning and maintaining a race yacht.

First prize for the championship will be £50,000 with £25,000 for second and £5,000 for third prize. The prize money will be given to the registered team and there will be no distinction between professional sponsored entries and personally financed challenges. Championships will also be held in 2021 and 2022.

With the minimum of 10 boats for the 2020 championships any team with a one design Figaro 3 wanting to take part will also be accepted into the championships. The entry fee will be £5,000. There will also be special options for privately owned yachts wishing to make use of the championship base in Cowes which will be very competitively priced.

Stuart Greenfield commented, "The launch if the new Beneteau Figaro 3 provides a unique opportunity for the FFORC to bring an exciting format to the UK offshore racing community... and hopefully internationally. Ocean racing continues to grow in interest with the numbers of yachts competing on the increase. There is trend for smaller more exciting yachts with less crew doing more with the focus on adventure with the bonus of less time just sitting on the rail. It is also clear that sailors want to race in teams without the hassle of boat maintenance and depreciation, they also want to race together as equals against the best. FFORC delivers this with the excitement of the races growing in length and difficulty as the 10-month cycle rolls out. Ensuring the format is compatible with non-professional weekend orientated sailors provides a unique opportunity and this combined with coaching and race training and a significant prize winning will, I hope, also attract professionals and fully sponsored teams... if you're ready for an adventure this is definitely the new 'fforc' in ocean racing!"

The Yacht

The Figaro Beneteau 3 is the first production foiling one-design monohull ever to be designed. A distillation of technology and innovation. It results from a collaboration between Group Beneteau's best experts and the Van Peteghem Lauriot-Prévost (VPLP) office, the architects of the two last boats to win the Vendée Globe

For more information visit www.beneteau.com/en/figaro-beneteau-3

Related Articles

Oman Sail are first ever Diam World Tour winners
After latest success in the Pacific Oman Sail's Diam 24 team are celebrating after winning the first ever Diam World Tour with another competitive performance at the deciding event in Polynesia. Posted on 17 Nov
Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe day 14
Today's IMOCA analysis by Gwénolé Gahinet When he crossed the finish line in Pointe-à-Pitre at 0023hrs UTC last night, Paul Meilhat won the the Route du Rhum in the IMOCA category, taking into account the 24-hour penalty given to Alex Thomson for starting his engine after running aground. Posted on 17 Nov
RC44 Cascais Cup day 3
Charisma cleans up in big conditions How things can change. After two light days but with a comparatively large Atlantic swell running, an aggressive-looking cold front off the Portugese coast looked set to make racing impossible on the penultimate day of the RC44 Cascais Cup. Posted on 17 Nov
420 End of Seasons Championships day 1
35 boat fleet indicates resurgence in the class A fleet of 35 420 dinghies are racing at Grafham Water SC for their 2018 End of Season Championships. This turn out is indicative of the resurgence in the class, which has seen new helms and crews joining the class. Posted on 17 Nov
British University Fleet Racing Championships
250 students at Draycote Water There was another record entry at the annual BUCS Fleet Racing Championships. 250 student sailors, from 25 universities, raced on Draycote Water over the weekend of 3 & 4 November. Posted on 17 Nov
METSTRADE Show sets new records again
5% rise in visitors to the marine trade fair The METSTRADE Show has once again broken its own records in terms of exhibitor and visitor numbers. While a full analysis of the figures will be issued early next week, a five percent rise in visits compared to 2017 – 26,052 visits by 16,716 visitors. Posted on 17 Nov
St. Barth Cata Cup day 2
Right side up and upside down On Friday, the second day of competition for the 11th St. Barth Cata Cup, the weather conditions made life difficult, not only for the race committee, which had to adapt the schedule in relationship to passing rain showers Posted on 17 Nov
Exposure Lights launch new long distance LED light
Focused beam for search & locating operations The Action 1-9 from Exposure Lights is a powerful 1000 lumens torch, specifically designed to aid search and location operations. The high powered LEDs are focused to a nine degree beam, through a collimated lens. Posted on 17 Nov
A delighted Meilhat is crowned IMOCA winner
Paul Meilhat crowned the unexpected winner of the IMOCA class French solo skipper Paul Meilhat at the helm of SMA was crowned the unexpected winner of the IMOCA class in the 2018 Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe solo transatlantic race today from Saint Malo in Brittany to Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe. Posted on 17 Nov
New developments for Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta
Steering Committee's job is to make people happy The main aim of this new Committee is to make sure all our competitors are happy. It is therefore focusing more on what happens on the water by introducing windward starts and new courses so that the racing is both safer and more challenging. Posted on 17 Nov