Great article published in Voile and Voiliers about the evolution of VOR design that is a bit the story of the evolution of modern sailboat design since you can find most of this evolution on performance cruising boats and even on cruising boats.
It is amazing how much boat design evolved in 10 years.
I will just post an Image calling the attention for the full article by François Chevalier.
On this image you can see the huge evolution between the 2001 Far plans (above) and the ones from Juan K (2011):
The article is very good and deserve a good reading. If you don't read French put it on a translator it will be worth the trouble.
Volvo Ocean Race, des VOR 60 aux VO 70 - Exclusif : les plans des voiliers de la Volvo depuis dix ans ! - Annonce bateaux - Annonces bateaux - Occasion Bateaux - Occasion Voiliers - Occasion voiles
I had already noticed that the actual VOR 70, even if on the surface seem quite similar have quite different hulls. Just look at the last images on the article and see how different are the hulls.
Look at what is happening on the VOR and you will see that the boats have different performances according with the wind and sea condition. For instance now that they are power sailing at speeds over 20K, Groupama is the fastest, closing on everybody but on the last leg with weak to medium winds not even the huge talent of Cammas could bring the boat near the winner (Puma).
This fantastic design evolution had taken place because several designers could work inside the box rule proposing different solutions. This evolution and the things that have been discovered on this boats entered on the knowledge of the NA community and were used on all sorts of sailing boats, one way ot another.
The most successful designer of the last years was Juan K.
Now they want to finish with all that story of evolution due to bright and different designs transforming the VOR in a one class race and the one that is going to design the boats is not JK but Farr
This is a bad idea. This race is so expensive that it would not be some hundreds of thousands of dollars that are going to be spared with this solution that will make any difference in a race budget and the disadvantages in what regards boat evolution are going to be huge