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Thales and Iridium deliver connectivity for IMOCA vessels

Thales jul 31


The International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA) has chosen Iridium and Thales as its official communications partners to provide satcom connectivity for several high-profile yachting events through 2021 to support skippers competing in the IMOCA Globe Series World Championship.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"} Thales will be the sole provider of Iridium Certus L-band broadband equipment and will equip the entire IMOCA racing fleet, which is more than 30 skippers, with its VesseLINK connectivity solution. VesseLINK will help the vessels to navigate extreme, open-sea conditions as they compete in a series of races recognised as the world’s foremost circuit for shorthanded offshore and around-the-world racing.

“Skippers in this circuit face some of the most extreme weather conditions on the planet and our VesseLINK solution will be right there with them to make their journeys better, and keep them safer,” said Mike Sheehan, CEO of Thales Defense and Security. “We are excited for the upcoming races and are proud to be able to support the IMOCA Class.”

The Thales VesseLINK solution will allow skippers to access the Iridium Certus service and stay connected. Vessels will also soon access the fastest upload and download speeds available in this segment of satellite communications.

“We are very proud to announce Thales and Iridium as the ‘Official Communications Partners’ of the IMOCA Class. The Iridium Certus satellite broadband service combined with the Thales VesseLINK solution modernises the communications capability of IMOCA yacht skippers sailing around the world. The skippers of the IMOCA Class are preparing for several races over the next two years. The preparation also includes one of the greatest challenges in sport: The Vendée Globe, which is a singlehanded, nonstop, around the world yacht race. We see a synergy in our mutual core values, technology, performance and human endurance. The partnership is the start of a valuable relationship between Thales, Iridium and the IMOCA Class,” said Antoine Mermod, president of IMOCA.

Thales and Iridium will support five major races in the circuit as the official communications partners, including:

  • Rolex Fastnet Race: starting from Cowes on August 3, 2019
  • Transat Jacques-Vabre: starting from Le Havre on October 27, 2019
  • The Transat: starting from Brest in May 2020
  • New York-Vendée: starting from New York on June 13, 2020
  • Vendée Globe: starting from Les Sables d’Olonne on November 8, 2020

View the IMOCA Partnership Video here 


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