Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Kids range

Hydroptere team takes advantage of winter season

by Thomas Lesage on 19 Jan 2013
Aerial photo shoot of l’Hydroptère DCNS, Alain Thébault and his crew (Yves Parlier, Jean le Cam, Jacques Vincent, Luc Alphand) during the first series of trials on the Med before trying to beat the Pacific crossing record between Los Angeles and Honolulu next summer. La Ciotat in the Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France. © Christophe Launay
Following an eventful year and a first summer spent in the USA, the Hydroptere team of Alain Thébault is taking advantage of the winter season to fine-tune their technological and sports program. The partner search continues.

In 2012, the winter was quickly over. Just sponsored by a French group, Hydroptere aimed to break the Transpacific Record between Los Angeles and Hawaii. The new geographical parameters required an upgrade of the 'F1 of the seas' to a '4x4 of the oceans.'

At La Ciotat, in the south of France, the technical team worked seven days a week at the metamorphosis of the boat. The carbon bird left France in late May. 'These were some of the most intense and rewarding winter works that I knew,' said Warren Fitzgerald, the Boat Captain.

Hydroptere started sailing in Los Angeles in mid-July. Unfortunately the weather was not appropriate; the only favorable weather windows were already finished. The team trained for a month in southern California and then went to San Francisco to greet the America's Cup World Series sailboats.


Hydroptere encountered up to three meter high waves and thirty knots of wind at 'Point Conception', the difficult part of the California coast. In the cold and the tumult of the Pacific Ocean, the flying trimaran went from the desert climate of Los Angeles to San Francisco fog. Apart from the wind angles, it gave the sailors a good foretaste of what they could expect on their way to Hawaii. The Golden Gate Bridge was passed at night, under the sound of foghorns. 'Wonderful memories. We were really exhausted, and despite the cold, we were all on the deck to contemplate the pillars of this red metal giant' recalls Jacques Vincent, co-skipper.

In San Francisco, the autumn was there but still no appropriate weather window to Hawaii appeared. The hope for a record attempt this season disappeared. Never mind, Hydroptere sailed in the bay and shared its technology with the American public. Some stars of the Silicon Valley and of the America's Cup went on board and the team of Alain Thébault took the opportunity to establish a small local record of 37.5 knots of average speed over one nautical mile. 'Just a wink to the competitors; we hope that this record will be broken and that we will be able to come back and defend it next autumn,' jokes Alain Thébault, skipper and designer of Hydroptere.

In early November, the title partner of the team for three years announced his early withdrawal. The postponement of the record attempt disrupted the schedule and no longer corresponded to its objectives. Before Christmas holidays, Hydroptere was sheltered in the bay of San Francisco and the search for new partners began.

The team of Hydroptere is currently working on a development program over five years with a double clear objective: offshore racing and pure speed.


In the short term, Hydroptere has to gather as much experience as possible in the Pacific and aims to demonstrate that sailboats can fly offshore. The Transpacific record attempt is still scheduled for the coming summer and this will be followed by a public relations campaign to introduce the trimaran to the public. 'It's amazing how this boat continues to make people dream; this technology still fascinates a lot. Hydroptere is the only boat able to sail offshore and to take guests to nearly 50 knot' says Yves Parlier.

In the medium term, the team wants to start building a prototype of pure speed, inspired by the recent works of Vestas Sailrocket. 'The supersonic sailing barrier was crossed thanks to Paul Larsen. Now the target has to be an average of 80 knots' explains Alain Thébault.

In the longer term, finally, Hydroptere 2, a trimaran that will be a synthesis of Hydroptere performance and of those of the best conventional maxi-multihulls, will aim to cross the Atlantic in three days and to exceed the legendary barrier of the thousand nautical miles in 24 hours.


'We have considerable experience in the field of foils and high speed. With these three challenges, we have enough to fill an ambitious program over five years. Technology and pioneer spirit will always be the core of the project. We take advantage of the winter to gather skills, to get various sources of advice and we are working diligently to develop a global roadmap. The objective is to get a first series of support before spring to consolidate the process,' says Alain Thébault.

Alain Thébault will be present at the Düsseldorf boat show (BOOT) on Sunday 20th and Monday 21st January, and he will talk during two conferences about the future of multihulls and the new challenges of high-speed sailing.

http://hydroptere.com

Wildwind 2016 660x82Zhik Isotak Ocean 660x82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82

Related Articles

Jules Verne Trophy – Full speed ahead to Ushant
200 miles south of the Azores, IDEC Sport is starting the final stretch of her round the world voyage in favourable wind 200 miles south of the Azores, IDEC Sport is starting the final stretch of her round the world voyage in favourable winds, which they have managed to pick up, getting the timing just right ahead of a front associated with a low-pressure system.
Posted on 24 Jan
How to experience Mauritius without breaking the bank!
The simplest way to reduce the cost of your flight is to add in a stop en-route. One of the reasons we at Wildwind thought Mauritius was the perfect destination for our winter base was that it's accessible for varying budgets whilst not compromising on the quality of activities and accommodation. The simplest way to reduce the cost of your flight is to add in a stop en-route.
Posted on 24 Jan
Jules Verne Trophy - Stepping up the pace
The maxi-trimaran IDEC Sport stepped up pace yesterday on final stretch of her attempt to win the Jules Verne Trophy. The maxi-trimaran IDEC Sport stepped up the pace yesterday on the final stretch of her attempt to win the Jules Verne Trophy. It is looking windy and physical over the next 2000 miles or so to the finish off Ushant.
Posted on 24 Jan
Variety, inclusion and National Sailing League at Kieler Woche
A huge variety, never seen before, inclusion in real life with the Para World Sailing, the first competition of Nacra 15 A huge variety, never seen before, inclusion in real life with the Para World Sailing Championships, the first competition of the Nacra 15, the Eurocup of the junior class 29er, the European Sailing Series of the Melges24, the rendezvous of the classics
Posted on 23 Jan
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series closing ceremony
Hundreds of competitors, guests and local dignitaries were treated to a sumptuous banquet at the glitzy Beach House Hundreds of competitors, guests and local dignitaries were treated to a sumptuous banquet at the glitzy Beach House, St James last night to mark the conclusion
Posted on 23 Jan
World Sailing News - February 2017 and December 2016
Catch the latest World Sailing month video magazine - February 2017 edition Catch the latest World Sailing month video magazine - February 2017 edition is just out featuring a wrap-up of the main sailing events of the December-January period including Thomas Coville’s new world record; the 2016 AON Youth Worlds; Rolex Sydney Hobart, Vendee Globe updates and a spectacular 49er crash while training in 27kts plus and big seas.
Posted on 23 Jan
New record at Mount Gay Round Barbados Race
Andy Budgen sailing Mach 2 foiling Intl Moth Nano Project completed 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race at a record pace Andy Budgen sailing his Mach 2 foiling International Moth Nano Project completed the 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race at a record pace of 4 hours, 23 minutes, 18 seconds, to established the Absolute Foiling Monohull record. He also broke his own personal record time from a few years ago when he sailed his VO70 Monster Project into the record books for the Absolute Monohull Record.
Posted on 22 Jan
Jules Verne Trophy - Long live the trade winds
The maxi-trimaran IDEC Sport should start to feel the effect of a NE’ly wind in the next few hours. Slowed down for the past 36 hours around the Equator in a large area of calms associated with the Doldrums, the maxi-trimaran IDEC Sport should start to feel the effect of a NE’ly wind in the next few hours.
Posted on 21 Jan
Countdown to Mount Gay Round Barbados Race
Following on from Coastal Series over last three days, competitors are enjoying rest in preparation for big race. Following on from the hugely successful Coastal Series over the last three days, competitors at the Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta, organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, are enjoying a well-earned rest in preparation for tomorrow’s big race.
Posted on 21 Jan
Mount Gay Round Barbados Series - Another glorious day on racecourse
The final day of the Coastal Series at the 81st Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta concluded in spectacular style today The final day of the Coastal Series at the 81st Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta, organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, concluded in spectacular style today with sunshine, a good working breeze up to 17-18kts, and a relatively flat sea.
Posted on 20 Jan