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IMOCA selects Iridium and Thales as official communications partners

The Iridium Certus powered Thales VesseLINK 700 onboard Alex Thomson Racing’s Hugo Boss Boat. Image source: Eloi Stichelbaut - polaRYSE / IMOCA The Iridium Certus powered Thales VesseLINK 700 onboard Alex Thomson Racing’s Hugo Boss Boat. Image source: Eloi Stichelbaut - polaRYSE / IMOCA

The International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA) has named Iridium and Thales as its official communications partners.

IMOCA skippers will continue to rely on Iridium Certus as their primary means of satellite communication at sea, after years of successful races and even life-saving communications provided.

Beginning in 2019, IMOCA skippers set sail with the new state-of-the-art satcom system, relying on Iridium Certus during several high-profile yachting events that attracted a global audience, including the prestigious Vendée Globe race. As the official communications partners, Iridium and partner Thales will continue to equip the IMOCA racing fleet with the Iridium Certus satellite connectivity delivered by the Thales VesseLINK 700 terminal.

Iridium’s connectivity solution enables IMOCA skippers to easily communicate with their shore teams, send photos and texts to friends and family, conduct interviews over Skype, Zoom or Microsoft TEAMS, and in the most extreme cases, provide critical connectivity during rescue situations.

 "We were already equipped with the Thales and Iridium system during the last Vendée Globe. This system has proven itself on the round the world race. The antenna and the network worked very well, even in hostile conditions and with our boats constantly on the move,” said Kevin Escoffier, skipper, Team PRB. “Moreover, the VesseLINK 700 is very efficient in terms of power consumption. I am very happy with the Iridium and Thales partnership with the IMOCA Class. Communication has become essential nowadays and this system perfectly meets our needs."

“We are very excited to continue the unique partnership with the IMOCA Class. The use of our technology by the skippers is an invaluable endorsement of the performance, coverage and reliability Iridium Certus and the Thales VesseLINK 700 terminal offer,” said Wouter Deknopper, vice president and general manager of maritime business at Iridium.

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Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


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