Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik AzkoNobel 728x90

l’Hydroptère heads for the City of Angels

by Thomas Lesage on 1 Jun 2012
l’Hydroptere Francis Demange www.hydroptere.com
Following three weeks of trials on the Mediterranean, Alain Thébault’s l’Hydroptère DCNS was loaded onto a cargo ship on Monday in Toulon (FRA). The 'flying sailboat' will head to Los Angeles, California, USA, where she will be positioned to wait for the best weather conditions for a Pacific crossing record attempt.




Holder of the absolute sailing speed record over one nautical mile since 2009 (at an average of 50.17 knots or 95 km/h ), l’Hydroptère DCNS will try to beat the crossing record between Los Angeles and Honolulu this summer, record currently held by Olivier de Kersauson on the maxi trimaran Geronimo in 4 days, 19 hours and 31 minutes. This attempt is highly symbolic since it is the first offshore record of a sailing boat with foils.

After three months of intense work in the shipyards at La Ciotat, l’Hydroptère DCNS joined the Mediterranean in early May. Alain Thébault and his four 'corsairs', Yves Parlier, Jean Le Cam, Luc Alphand and Jacques Vincent, were able to achieve a first series of trial sessions with light to medium winds. Further trials including night sailing sessions will take place in California. The objective of this Mediterranean period was not only to get back to good conditions on the sporting side of the project but also to test in situ the changes done this winter on the boat.

Conducted by the technical team, with the help of the five corsairs and the 'papés' engineers of the project, trials were conducted off La Ciotat in sea conditions allowing to test the stability of the trimaran in the waves. With a good behaviour in the mistral, the carbon bird sailed up to 45 knots (top speed) and 30 knots stabilized in the swell in front of the famous 'Bec de l'Aigle'.

These sessions were also used to understand the positions of everyone on board and to repeat the first lines of a score that will have to be perfectly played this summer on the Pacific. Between Jacques Vincent, co-skipper of l’Hydroptère since 2005, Jean Le Cam, teammate at the time of Eric Tabarly, Yves Parlier, another sailing legend and l’Hydroptère addict from the first hour, and Luc Alphand, a former ski and rally champion , Alain Thébault knows he can count on a crew with an extreme mental strength. 'l’Hydroptère DCNS is a very nervous craft, every detail is important.

On board, we operate as a team of mountaineers, everyone is responsible for each other, trust must be total. These first trial sessions showed a genuine passion and a great mutual respect, we feel like five corsairs on a dream boat' jokes Alain Thébault.


This trust, the five sailors also need to feel it with the boat. During the winter, the technical teams worked on four major areas of optimization for offshore sailing:

- the boat’s loss of weight thanks to the installation of a rudder support in carbon;

- the extension of the sails' surface with the addition of a flying jib boom allowing the use of a larger gennaker;

- the modification of the foils’ profiles so that the boat cannot stall in rough sea conditions;

- and the development of a future rear tail unit control system by the 'papés' and the engineers of DCNS, which could help reduce significantly the rolling and pitching of the boat and thus further increase her offshore potential.

'We still have work to do on the control system but globally, we can speak of a speed increase of about 10% downwind with a much more stable behaviour in rough seas, says AlainThébault. So far l’Hydroptère DCNS was a Formula 1 of the seas, capable of sailing beyond 50 knots on sea surfaces as flat as possible. Today it is just the opposite; we optimize our Formula 1 so it can evolve as a 4x4 and start to tackle major ocean records. »

The flying fish should reach Los Angeles in about 25 days. The sailing sessions will start again as soon as she arrives and then the whole team will wait for the best weather conditions. 'We're off, l’Hydroptère DCNS is leaving the continent of her birth, says Jacques Vincent, moved. Some people still cannot believe it but it reminds everybody how dreams can be powerful. Now, let's stay humble and keep a cool head, the worst is to Hydroptere website

PredictWind.comMackay BoatsNaiad

Related Articles

A Few Rays - When you think of sunscreen as a filter....
If a sunscreen is a filter of UV rays, how much is enough? If a sunscreen is a filter of UV rays, how much is enough? Where the skin is exposed and a sunscreen is working for you, it is filtering UV rays. Some of those rays always get through. The percentage of the high energy UVB rays (said to cause sunburn) that get through to cells in the skin can be determined by the claimed SPF of the product you are using.
Posted on 25 Apr
Masters Games - Paralympians perform well against Rockstars
Chris Sharp’s green machine is becoming well known on the sailing course at the World Masters Games Chris Sharp’s green machine is becoming well known on the sailing course at the World Masters Games, largely because it’s finishing ahead of most of his rivals. What makes that extraordinary is that Sharp is a paraplegic after a motorbike accident seven years ago. The 59-year-old is sitting eighth of 30 competitors in the single-handed Weta class after two days of racing
Posted on 24 Apr
Experience is key as Team Oman Air prepare for Extreme Sailing Series
Team Oman Air skipper Phil Robertson says his crew's unrivalled experience could prove vital to victory in second round Known worldwide for hosting sailing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Qingdao is notorious for its ability to catch crews off guard with a fickle breeze that can go from next to nothing to gale force in a matter of minutes.
Posted on 24 Apr
The Vendée Globe skippers hosted at the Elysée Palace
The Elysée Palace yesterday hosted a grand ceremony where the Head of State honoured the heroes of offshore racing. The Elysée Palace yesterday hosted a grand ceremony where the Head of State honoured the heroes of offshore racing. Twenty-three of the twenty-nine Vendée Globe skippers attended the event, gathering around winner Armel Le Cléac’h, appointed Knight of the Legion of Honour.
Posted on 22 Apr
It's time for Qingdao and China round of the Extreme Sailing Series
The countdown is on as the teams prepare to take to the water for the second Act in China's Olympic Sailing City Following an epic season opener in Muscat in March, the racing reconvenes over China's May Labour Day holiday weekend, with open water racing on day one followed by Stadium Racing in Fushan Bay, a venue notorious for its temperamental weather that has previously seen multiple capsizes caused by its unexpected gusts.
Posted on 21 Apr
Friday Afternoon...
What does every Friday afternoon need? A look at a cool boat, and today’s is the awesome SuperFoiler. What does every Friday afternoon need? A look at a cool boat, and today’s is the awesome SuperFoiler. They have had a rebranding just recently, but far more importantly, some test sailing - YeeHaaaaaaaa! Jack Macartney has told us, “It’s been a huge couple of months for us. We were thrilled to recently launch SuperFoiler Boat 1 in Callala Bay (Jervis Bay Yacht Club)....
Posted on 21 Apr
Wildwind Easter News Round-Up
As you may have heard this year is very special for us. As you may have heard this year is very special for us, it’s 30 years since Simon Morgan, the company’s founder, took a sabbatical from work in London, took in a few major sailing events including a 727 mile non-stop race in a Hobie 16 from Miami to Fort Walton beach, and eventually drove his VW campervan to a windy place called Vassiliki… and never looked back!
Posted on 17 Apr
Extreme Sailing Series - Getting to know Alinghi’s Timothé Lapauw
At just 20 years old, Timothé Lapauw is one of the youngest sailors in the Extreme Sailing Series™ fleet. At just 20 years old, Timothé Lapauw is one of the youngest sailors in the Extreme Sailing Series™ fleet. But this season he is racing alongside some of the most experienced and respected names in Swiss sailing on board the two-time America’s Cup-winning team Alinghi.
Posted on 14 Apr
REV win the Double at Miami Final in hotly contested 10-strong fleet
An impressive sight of 10 M32 catamarans took to Biscayne Bay for final event of M32 Miami Winter Series this weekend. An impressive sight of 10 M32 catamarans took to Biscayne Bay for the final event of the M32 Miami Winter Series this weekend. The event was rounded off in style as strong winds blew over the racecourse on Sunday allowing boats to fly at over 20knots. REV proved themselves as the team to beat this winter, skippered by Rick DeVos, winning both this final event and the overall Series title.
Posted on 11 Apr
Phil Collins wins 2017 U.S. Multihull Championship on Biloxi Bay
The fleet of 16 Hobie 17 catamarans completed their fourth and final set of races at 2017 U.S. Multihull Championship The fleet of 16 Hobie 17 catamarans completed their fourth and final set of races on Sunday at the 2017 U.S. Multihull Championship, hosted by Ocean Springs Yacht Club on Biloxi Bay. Phil Collins (Piedmont, Okla.) bolstered his Hobie 17 racing resume with another win in the class. Collins led from start to finish and won the Hobie Alter Trophy by seven points over Daniel Borg
Posted on 10 Apr