Isle of Wight record attempt by l’Hydroptère
by Bibiana Jurado on 5 Jun 2011
The Trimaran l’Hydroptère is on her way to England and is preparing to challenge and beat the record around the Isle of Wight.
l’hydroptere rips down the measured mile for another world sailing record. Guilain GRENIER/www.martin-raget.com
The current record has been held since November 2001 by Steve Fosset’s catamaran Playstation. l’Hydroptère's very first attempt will be on Sunday June 5 and will be prolonged until June 14, 2011. Last year l’Hydroptère missed the record by a few minutes. In fact at mid-term of the race, she was 40 minutes ahead of Playstation, but due to a fall in the wind, l’Hydroptère finished eight minutes after Playstation’s record.
This year, with the full support of the House of Champagne Lanson, the official partner of this record, the Hydroptère team is attempting this challenge again, more motivated than ever and determined to sign a triple wake of bubbles and spray.
This exceptional project began in the 1980s under the joint leadership of Eric Tabarly and Alain Thébault, surrounded by scientists and sailors. From 1987 to 1992, the dream became reality. Sponsored and supported by Eric Tabarly, Alain Thébault developed different models and came up with the concept of a flying boat. l’Hydroptère was launched in 1994. The first flight was a success. There followed several years of research and development for which Alain Thébault was careful to bring together a diverse mix of cultures and skills.
Broken in 2005 by tropical storm Delta on the Isle of Lanzarote, l’Hydroptère managed to recover thanks to the help of Thierry Lombard, from the private banking house Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch and Cie, who brought a new dimension to the adventure: Two new boats are in development, the first being l’Hydroptère.ch, a laboratory model that will be used to develop the second, l’Hydroptère Maxi, whose objective is to tackle ocean records and to sail around the world in less than 40 days.
l’Hydroptère has been enjoying a string of successes since 2005: On 2nd February 2005, l’Hydroptère crossed the English Channel faster than Blériot in his airplane; on 4th April 2007, she set two world speed records.
And on 4th September 2009, she definitively made sailing history by crossing the mythical 50 knot barrier - the equivalent of breaking the sound barrier in aviation - reaching 50.17 knots over one nautical mile with a top speed of 56.3 knots (104 km/h) in the Hyères Bay, France. By breaking the wind barrier, l’Hydroptère became the fastest sailcraft on the planet.
The launch of l’Hydroptère.ch in Spring 2011 represented a new milestone for the project. Now heading to the open sea, the Hydroptère Team is focused on the versatility of the concept and prepares the arrival of flying boats in the offshore sailing Hydroptere website
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