A couple of internationally renowned sailors join the Hydros team ahead of the C-Class World Championships: Dutch sailors Mischa Heemskerk and Bastiaan Tentij. Both have joined the team comprising Jérémie Lagarrigue and Billy Besson at La Grande-Motte, in the south of France, and have embarked on a period of intensive training.
'Mischa Heemskerk and Bastiaan Tentij'
'We are proud and really happy to welcome these top-class sailors', said Jérémie Lagarrigue, head of the Hydros Project. 'Mischa and Bastiaan have been sailing together for six years in sports catamarans and are among the best performers in this discipline. They will undoubtedly bring a lot to the team.'
In 2011, the two Dutchmen were ranked second in the Formula 18 World Catamaran Championships and fourth a year ago. Mischa Heemskerk also won the A-Class World Championships in 2012. Having started to sail in multihulls at the age of four, Heemskerk was 12 when he won his first European championship title. Heemskerk will be the helm of his catamaran while fellow crew member Bastiaan Tentij will be responsible for adjusting the wing mast. Both men are also engineers and passionate about the advanced technological development of their vessels; a crucial advantage in an extremely high-tech project like Hydros.
'Hydros aims for perfection in terms of research, design and materials, and that's what I like most about this project', said Mischa Heemskerk. 'I like technological challenges; this team wants to use our sailing skills but also our brains. Our objective will be to convert our feelings as sailors into concrete facts that the design team can use.'
The first crew of the Hydros team comprises Jérémie Lagarrigue and Billy Beson. A multiple medal winner at French, European and World Formula 18 Championships, Lagarrigue has already competed in the latest World C-Class championships on board Patient Lady VI, while helmsman Besson is one of the world's leading experts in sports multihulls.
The two crews are now training intensively on board two Nacra F 20 catamarans, one of which (provided by H2O Sensations) has been equipped with experimental foils designed by Stéphane Dyen and the Hydros Design Team, and built by Yvan Ravussin. The lessons learned during these next few weeks of sailing will then be transferred to the team’s C-Class catamarans, and in early March, the first one, which is currently under construction in the Décision SA boatyard, will be launched.
The two Hydros C-Class catamarans will represent Switzerland in the C-Class World Championships in September 2013.
Right from when it first took place in 1961, the C-Class World Championships - nicknamed the Little America's Cup - has symbolized fundamental research and ground-breaking technological development, on a human scale. The yachts, which have a crew of two, must measure a maximum of 7.62 m x 4.20 m, with a sail surface area of no more than 27.8 m2. These restrictions are precisely what makes the class so exciting, since the yacht designers are forced to explore cutting-edge techniques. Furthermore, these boats have been sailing with wing masts for over thirty years!
Hydros is a scientific research project devoted to sailing and has three parts: Hydro Cup (participation in the Little America's Cup), Hydro Contest (university competition), and Hydro Speed Tour (speed competition).
Having designed the hydrofoil catamaran l'Hydroptère.ch, holder of the one-hour record and the record over a kilometer on Lake Geneva, Hydros is entering two yachts in the Class C Worlds to represent Switzerland and Swiss expertise.
At the same time, Hydros is launching the Hydro Contest, a challenge for universities, which will strive to optimize the performance of hydrofoils yachts.
Hydros seeks to participate in initiatives that contribute to sustainable development. The scientific conclusions resulting from the research into sporting performance will be applied to industrial projects involving renewable energies.
by Bernard Schopfer
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4:07 PM Mon 28 Jan 2013GMT
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