Van Orton Design + 11th Hour Racing Team Collaborate on Artistic Canvas Promoting Ocean Health

We've featured the colorful work of Van Orton Design in the past and are delighted to see this Italian-born dynamic duo’s latest project in collaboration with 11th Hour Racing and French yacht design specialist Jean-Baptiste Epron to raise awareness around ocean health. The result, storytelling through art by way of an awe-inspiring race boat turned canvas that leverages the ocean as its main character. The work strives to celebrate the ocean's immense beauty but also its increasing fragility spotlighting the team's central message “What’s below the surface connects us all."

While the talented Jean-Baptiste Epron brought in decades of technical knowledge on how to apply a design to the angles of a race boat, the Van Orton twins, Stefano and Marco Schiavon interpreted the theme through their signature style they define as ‘Gothic-pop’, which has already seduced the likes of Disney, ESPN, and Pearl Jam. 

With a surface of over 1600 sq ft (151 m2) and height of almost 80 ft (27 m) on its mainsail, as well as 60 ft (18 m) in hull length, 11th Hour Racing Team’s IMOCA 60 is, to-date, Van Orton Design’s ‘largest’ project.

“We come from the digital world and were extremely intrigued by the idea of a computer-made illustration taking on such a large size. What stimulated us even more was being involved in a project that embraces the natural world and the possibility to make a small contribution to the team’s cause for ocean preservation.” - Marco Schiavon, Van Orton Design

Playing with the symbolic ‘11’ and the 12 dots of the 11th Hour Racing logo, representing a ticking clock in the race for climate action, the duo incorporated marine animals and natural elements such as bubbles and waves to create an engaging design. Focusing on the positive associations and the emotional ties people can have with the marine universe, cheerful colors are another significant element to the artwork. 

Rob MacMillan, co-founder and president of 11th Hour Racing, shared his vision for the IMOCA 60:

“We wanted to create something inspiring and significantly different from other boat designs. Triggering emotional responses and establishing a real connection with the ocean is the basis when engaging people with our cause for the environment, which is the main focus for our sponsorship.” 

Below the IMOCA 60’s colorful surface, state-of-the-art boat building technology and a number of sustainable construction practices add to the 11th Hour Racing Team’s ambition to leave a positive impact on the environment and drive change within the marine industry.

Co-skippered by Charlie Enright (USA) and Pascal Bidégorry (FRA), the boat will make a first race appearance at this year’s Défi Azimut from September 14 – 19 in Lorient, France, and then take on the iconic Transat Jacques Vabre in November from France to Martinique. 

photo credits: © Amory Ross / 11th Hour Racing & Maxime Horlaville

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