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Southern Spars - North Technology

Record-chasing season concludes for l’Hydroptère.ch

by Bernard Schopfer on 7 Nov 2012
l’Hydroptère.ch, holder of the main speed records on Lake Geneva. © Loris von Siebenthal/HYDROS
The experimental hydrofoil catamaran Hydroptère.ch has concluded its record-chasing 2012 season. Its results were exceptional, including one of the best times of all times on the Ruban Bleu course despite adverse weather conditions.

l’Hydroptère.ch, the revolutionary hydrofoil catamaran developed by the Hydros design team in Lausanne, concluded its record-chasing campaign at the end of a season packed full of experiences and achievements.

In 2012, l’Hydroptère.ch achieved the best times for all the records on Lake Geneva: hour, kilometer and Ruban Bleu (Bol d’Or course). It also beat the absolute one-hour record on July 19 with an average speed of 25.63 knots. l’Hydroptère.ch also posted the year's best time on the Ruban Bleu course on July 11 in five hours 11 minutes 46 seconds, beating its own record (from 2011) by 22 minutes, although still 18 minutes off the record itself.

'We are proud of these achievements', says Daniel Schmaeh, helmsman of l’Hydroptère.ch. 'Our overall performance has been excellent as we progressed on all fronts: we validated the changes to the boat's structure, progressed as a team, and improved our understanding of how hydrofoils work. On the other hand, the weather conditions proved capricious; there was hardly ever any bise (northern wind) and we feel there is unfinished business as the Ruban Bleu was denied us. We will resume our assault on the record next year; we know it's within our grasp.'

The l’Hydroptère.ch team, comprising Daniel Schmaeh, Jérémie Lagarrigue, Stéphane Dyen, Gaël Ledoux and Guillaume Coyon made no less than nine attempts this season, trying their luck in sometimes adverse conditions. 'These attempts allowed us to strengthen the team, and improve the handling of the boat and our knowledge of Lake Geneva', says Jérémie Lagarrigue, head of the Hydros project. 'We also greatly improved the yacht's performance.'

As a result, l’Hydroptère.ch managed to sail the Geneva – Le Bouveret course in one hour 44 minutes. On July 19, l’Hydroptère.ch was about to round the Bouveret mark, after one hour 20 minutes of sailing when its starboard hull broke, putting an end to the attempt. The hull then got repaired in a month by the Hydros team, the Décision SA and Multiplast boatyards thus demonstrating the Hydros technical team’s formidable capacity to react.

Thierry Lombard, the initiator of the Hydros project and owner of l’Hydroptère.ch, has supported the development of flying yachts since 2005. Today the world's fastest sailboats, as well as the multihulls involved in the America's Cup, sail with foils, thus confirming his original vision. 'It makes me very proud to see how far the Hydros team has come', he declared. 'l’Hydroptère.ch has allowed us to learn more about the basic technology of flying boats. We are now at the forefront of developing these processes of the future, thus continuing our pioneering spirit.'

l’Hydroptère.ch will have a few more outings up to the end of November to make some tests and some more progress for next season. It will then be stored until the beginning of next year’s record hunting season on Lake Geneva, in March 2013.
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