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IMOCA Appoints Iridium its Official Communications Partner  


July 30, 2019

Iridium Communications Inc. announced that the International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA), has named Iridium as their Official Communications Partner for the 2019-2021 race season.  IMOCA has also chosen Thales as its partner and sole provider of Iridium Certus L-band broadband equipment and will equip the IMOCA racing fleet with their VesseLINK connectivity solution. From June 2019 to June 2021, IMOCA race teams will rely upon Iridium Certus® as their primary means of satellite communication. Together, Iridium and Thales will provide satcom connectivity for several high-profile yachting events that attract a global audience, including the prestigious Vendée Globe race. 

Iridium and Thales have been named the official communications partners of the IMOCA Globe Series.

The IMOCA World Race Series represents several major physical and technical challenges for the teams. The success or failure of a race can depend upon regular access to weather and wind updates, which in turn are dependent upon an uncompromising level of ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship connectivity. The Iridium Certus L-band broadband service delivers the foundation for all of these elements, providing dependable high-speed connectivity globally regardless of sailing conditions. In addition, the service will enable crew to post updates to social media and even conduct media interviews while at sea during a race.

"We are very proud to announce Iridium and Thales as the 'Official Communications Partners' of the IMOCA Class. The Iridium Certus satellite broadband service combined with the Thales VesseLINK terminal modernizes the communications capability of IMOCA yacht skippers sailing around the world," said Antoine Mermod, president of the IMOCA Class. "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 single-handed, nonstop, round-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."

Iridium Certus is the world's newest and most advanced L-band broadband solution, offering small-form-factor, cost-effective terminals and truly global coverage.  IMOCA race vessels will now be optimized with this state-of-the-art satcom system, built for adverse weather conditions in any ocean. The service will be delivered to the race teams by selected Iridium world-class service partners (SPs).

"The IMOCA race series is the ultimate test for IMOCA class crews, and their adoption of Iridium Certus and VesseLINK is an invaluable acknowledgement that a new era of satcom has arrived for the maritime industry," said Wouter Deknopper, vice president and general manager of maritime business at Iridium. "Through our terminal partners we are able to offer the smallest, lightest satellite antennas with no moving parts, and with a future firmware update, our existing terminals will offer the fastest L-band speeds at the most cost-effective rate in the industry.  No comparable service can top our speed, coverage, form factor or reliability."

 


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