Please select your home edition
Edition
Kilwell - 6

Hydroptere, Hydroptere 2 - The search is on for partners

by Thomas Lesage on 8 Dec 2012
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
Hydroptere, Alain Thébault’s 'flying boat', is seeking partners to finance the Transpacific record attempt this summer and the launch in 2015 of a second generation Hydroptere designed to beat the North Atlantic record.

Since its double world absolute sailing speed record in 2009 (taken over by kitesurfers and recently by the Australian Paul Larsen) Hydroptere changed direction to head towards offshore challenges. 'Since 2009 we were the world fastest Formula 1 of the seas but our initial dream with Eric Tabarly was to test the concept offshore. In 2010, we decided to turn the F1 into a 4x4 of the seas to show that it was also possible to fly over the oceans,' said Alain Thébault, skipper and designer of Hydroptere.

After two seasons of exhibitions and training sessions around Europe, the French trimaran joined California for the first oceanic record attempt last July. As there was no favorable weather, the attempt had to be postponed until spring 2013. 'A setback in the schedule that no longer corresponded to the expectations of our title sponsor. They had no market opportunities in the United States. We are therefore looking for new key sponsors' says Emilie Monthioux, operational manager of the program.

At their level, the official partners of Hydroptere i.e. the innovative SMEs Atheos and Clip Industrie have renewed their confidence in the team, as well as the Champagne house Lanson which strengthened their investment on the boat a few weeks ago. Alain Thébault will attend the boat show in Düsseldorf mid-January. This is an ideal opportunity to announce in Germany, the arrival of a possible first key partner in the program with an important technological support for the research and the building of Hydroptere 2.


'In the nautical world and to the general public, Hydroptere remains an unidentified object. Our passion is to try, to experiment, to go where nobody goes. It is not always easy, but when it works, people say thank you. I like a lot the dreamlike dimension. With the record of the Transpacific, we can open a new chapter in the history of sailing: the one where flying boats, that is to say 100% hydrofoil sailboats will cross the oceans. Our 12 month campaign in 2013, with the Transpacific record attempt and the public relations in San Francisco during the America's Cup, represent a total budget of 2.7 million Euros, half of which in investment. Ideally we would like to gather several key partners, attracted by the same pioneer spirit and for which the American/Asian regions would constitute a field of strategic communication,' explains Alain Thébault.

Hydroptere is currently moored in San Francisco. It will spend the Christmas season in the bay until a first round of funding is gathered to start its winter checking. See you in Düsseldorf mid-January and in California next spring.

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
NaiadSouthern Spars - 100Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses