Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

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

Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearZhik Yachting 660x82Protector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

Round the Rocks kick's off St. Thomas International Regatta
Nearly 60 sleek sailing yachts from Caribbean, U.S., Canada and Europe will race in St. Thomas International Regatta. Nearly 60 sleek sailing yachts from the Caribbean, U.S., Canada and Europe will race in the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta. Set for March 24 to 26, this three-day regatta known as the ‘Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing’ will be prefaced by the second Round the Rocks Race on March 23, which features a circumnavigation of the 19-square-mile neighbouring U.S. Virgin Island of St. John.
Posted on 23 Mar
Extreme Sailing Series heads to Mexico for the first time in history
SAP has been Official Technical Partner to the Extreme Sailing Series™ since 2012, providing cutting edge insights Today the owner and organiser of the Series, OC Sport, is delighted to announce that the German software giant SAP – a longtime supporter of the world's leading Stadium Racing Series - will be the Host Venue Partner for the Mexican Act.
Posted on 20 Mar
St. Thomas International Regatta’s Prize Timepieces by Cardow Jewelers
Timing means everything in yacht racing, organizers of Round the Rocks Race, set for March 23, and STIR, March 24 to 26 Timing means everything in yacht racing. Therefore, organizers of the Round the Rocks Race, set for March 23, and the St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), March 24 to 26, are proud to welcome Cardow Jewelers aboard as sponsor of the precision timepieces that will be awarded to class winners.
Posted on 19 Mar
Team ENGIE leaves Oman in 6th place at the Extreme Sailing Series
As a preamble to his new season in GC32 Sébastien Rogues and the Team ENGIE crew benefited from very high-level training As a preamble to his new season in GC32, Sébastien Rogues and the Team ENGIE crew benefited from very high-level training during two major international events, the GC32 Championship and the first leg of the Extreme Sailing Series which took place in Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman.
Posted on 14 Mar
SAP Extreme Sailing Team clinch opening win of Extreme Sailing Series
Clear blue skies combined with a north-easterly breeze gusting 25 knots as nine crews hit the choppy waters of Muscat After 26 races over four days three teams - SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Oman Air and Alinghi - went into the final race, worth double points, capable of taking the overall win.
Posted on 11 Mar
Strong start for Team Oman Air in Extreme Sailing Series opener
A wet and wild final day saw Oman Air's foiling GC32 catamaran blasting round the stadium racecourse. The crew, now with $1 million World Match Racing Tour winner Phil Robertson at the helm, scored 16 podium finishes in 27 races.
Posted on 11 Mar
Extreme Sailing Series™ offers perfect proving ground for youth teams
They don’t call it Extreme Sailing Series for nothing – that’s just what young guns have been finding out on their debut They don’t call it the Extreme Sailing Series™ for nothing – and that’s just what the young guns on Team Tilt and NZL Sailing Team have been finding out on their debuts on the global Stadium Racing tour.
Posted on 11 Mar
Extreme Sailing Series – SAP Extreme Sailing Team nudge ahead
SAP Extreme Sailing Team, Oman Air and Alinghi all held the top spot at some stage during the third thrilling day Danish crew SAP Extreme Sailing Team, home team Oman Air and champions Alinghi all held the top spot at some stage during the third thrilling day of racing at Muscat's Almouj Golf.
Posted on 10 Mar
Dramatic day sets Oman Air up for Extreme Sailing Series Act 1 title
Team Oman Air was slow out of the blocks but the experienced crew soon hit their stride with a string of podium finishes Team Oman Air was slow out of the blocks but the highly-experienced crew soon hit their stride with a string of podium finishes, including two wins. Going into the final race Phil Robertson’s men were narrowly ahead of the SAP Extreme Sailing Team, only to be knocked off pole position ahead of tomorrow’s finale thanks to a sixth-place finish, their worst of the day.
Posted on 10 Mar
Oman Air go top as battle for Extreme Sailing Series Act 1 heats up
Home team Oman Air snatched overall lead in opening Act of Extreme Sailing Series™ in a second day of intense action Home team Oman Air snatched the overall lead in the opening Act of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in a second day of intense action in Muscat today.
Posted on 10 Mar