The Venture Cup 2016 will feature an experimental class of naval and patrol vessels, race organisers have announced

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Next year’s round Ireland Venture Cup will feature a new Experimental class of vessels, as part of a partnership with the Irish Maritime & Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC).

Based in Cork Harbour, IMERC boasts the largest wave-testing tank in Europe, and the organisers of the Venture Cup 2016 hope to harness this research and development potential to put some truly cutting edge designs to the test.

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Chief organiser Aidan Foley told MBY: “The IMERC recognises that the Venture Cup 2016 has the potential to operate as a test bench for high-speed boat testing and innovation.”

Although vessels in the Experimental class will not be directly competing with the main raceboats, they will aim to complete the same 1,000nm course from Cork to Dublin, via Galway and Bolus Head (pictured above).

Dr Johan Ullman of High Speed Boat Operations Professionals has also signed up as medical officer for the 2016 Venture Cup and will be measuring the impact of the race on the vessels and the crews.

At the time of writing, we understand that 25 teams have expressed an interest in entering the 2016 Venture Cup, with the organisers due to start accepting applications next month.