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Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Hydros pursues a trio of ambitious projects

by Bernard Schopfer on 10 Oct 2012
l’Hydroptère.ch, the holder of the main speed records on Lake Geneva, is the Hydros project’s flagship vessel. © ADimages-A_Tinturier
The Swiss Hydros team, based in the Parc Scientifique d’Ecublens, is together pursuing a trio of ambitious projects. The team is now prepared to report on the significant progress and concrete milestones it has achieved to date.

In September 2013, Hydros will enter two state-of-the-art Class C multihulls in the Little Americas Cup at Falmouth, UK. The yachts are currently under construction at the Decision SA boatyard in Lausanne. They will be the first yachts ever built using the thin ply technology (TPT), an innovative Swiss invention which will result in a lighter and stiffer structure.

The rigid wing that will replace the sails is also under construction at Decision. Built with great attention to detail, it will be a model of precision and probably one of the most sophisticated wings ever made.

The first Class C crew will comprise Jérémie Lagarrigue and Billy Besson, who recently came third in the Formula 18 World Championships (sport catamarans) at Long Beach. The selection process is currently underway for the second catamaran crew.

At the same time, some members of the Hydros team are developing the HydroContest, a competition that challenges universities to find solutions to some of the issues maritime transport faces. The idea is to involve engineering schools worldwide along with today and tomorrow's thinkers in addressing a major problem: dwindling reserves of fossil fuels and the need to reduce their consumption by transport ships.

Davy Moyon, Hydros engineer, assisted by Robin Amacher, is coordinating the project in partnership with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and is working on the details of the competition. Starting in September 2013, universities will receive a starter kit in the form of a prototype, which they will be able to optimize at their convenience. The project will be piloted and closely monitored by Hydros, and the results will lead to specific applications that will eventually serve to improve the ecological balance of maritime transport.

Finally, Hydros is developing a mobile application that will be used within the Hydro Speed Tour. The objective is to encourage people to beat speed records using any mode of transport by land, water, over ice, or by air. The Hydro Speed Tour is a global speed record competition. It aims to increase public awareness of the need to use energy efficiently and save energy without compromising performance. The results will take account of sporting performance as well as the energy balance of the vehicle used.

'Our mission at Hydros is to multiply the natural energy at our disposal,' says Jérémie Lagarrigue, the head of the Hydros project. 'In our case the energy comes from the wind and our iconic craft, l’Hydroptère.ch, allows us to go twice as fast as the wind. The Class C catamaran will enable us to increase this ratio to 2.7 and we want to encourage the public to target or even surpass these results.'

The three aspects of the Hydros project are being developed and promoted by renowned partners: a dynamic team of passionate engineers determined to advance their knowledge and draw conclusions that bring us a little closer each day to improved energy efficiency.

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