Please select your home edition
Edition
C-Tech Emirates

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.com 2014North Technology - Southern SparsPredictWind.com

Related Articles

Oman Air moves top of overall Extreme Sailing Series™ leaderboard
Oman Air took its second Act victory in a row in a finale, despite last minute pressure from SAP Extreme Sailing Team. Oman Air took its second Act victory in a row in a thrilling Hamburg finale, despite last minute pressure from SAP Extreme Sailing Team. The triumph sees the Omani syndicate move into pole position in the overall rankings.
Posted on 14 Aug
Oman Air goes top of Extreme Sailing Series after a dramatic victory
Oman Air team have taken the overall lead after clinching victory at the latest Hamburg event on a dramatic final day. Having led from the start of the German regatta, the crew of the high-speed GC32 catamaran saw their lead whittled away on the last day to a single point before a race win – only their third of the Act – gave them a narrow lead going into the double-points finale.
Posted on 13 Aug
Aarhus offers taste of Championships to come
It is a truth universally acknowledged in the boat park, that while some classes are talking tech or weather It is a truth universally acknowledged in the boat park, that while some classes are talking tech or weather, the windsurfers are finding out where to eat and chill out. But when it is competition time they are as fierce as anyone and the men’s RS:X at The Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus Denmark 2018 Test Event whetted the appetite for the battles to come here in a year’s time.
Posted on 13 Aug
Extreme Sailing Series – Oman Air stays ahead while the rest reshuffle
Oman Air maintained its lead while Red Bull Sailing Team climbed from bottom of the table to second after seven races Four second places and three fifths were enough to keep Oman Air ahead by a comfortable margin while the rest of the fleet took part in a game of snakes and ladders, resulting in a leaderboard reshuffle.
Posted on 13 Aug
Oman Air extend the lead over Extreme Sailing Series rivals in Hamburg
The Oman Air team of Robertson, Pete Greenhalgh, Nasser Al Mashari, James Wierzbowski and Ed Smyth have 92 points With five different winners from the seven races run on the tight River Elbe courses in the heart of the German port city, consistent sailing saw Oman Air take an eight point advantage into Sunday’s finale of the four-day regatta.
Posted on 12 Aug
Sailing World Championships - Foiling Nacra 17 to go back to the shop
It is the mark of a champion that they rise to every test without complaining about the weather gods It is the mark of a champion that they rise to every test without complaining about the weather gods, and the Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus Denmark 2018 Test Event witnessed those qualities surface again yesterday. After the heavy conditions earlier in the week, the light on Friday meant only four of the ten classes got out into Aarhus Bay and racing continued until the sun went down.
Posted on 12 Aug
Extreme Sailing Series - Double win for Oman Air on testing day
Oman Air out-sailed its rivals to gain a six-point lead, with rest of the fleet separated by a narrow two-point margin In tough conditions on the River Elbe, Oman Air out-sailed its rivals to gain a six-point lead, with the rest of the fleet separated by a narrow two-point margin, after the first day of scoring racing at the Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 5, Hamburg, presented by Land Rover.
Posted on 12 Aug
Two races, two victories for Oman Air at Extreme Sailing Series
Oman Air continued as they had left off in the season with victory in both of the two races so far sailed at Hamburg Act Fresh from an overall win at the previous event in Barcelona two weeks ago, the Oman Air crew indicated they were going for a repeat performance, dominating proceedings when racing finally got going on day two of the four-day event.
Posted on 11 Aug
Rolex Fastnet Race - To the wire in IRC Three
IRC Three went to wire this afternoon in the Rolex Fastnet Race between two French JPK 10.80s. IRC Three went to wire this afternoon in the Rolex Fastnet Race between two French JPK 10.80s. Coming into the finish, Timeline of past class winner Marc Alperovitch seem to be the victor, but when Arnaud Delamare and Eric Mordret's lower rated Dream Pearls arrived 33 minutes later, her time corrected to 1 minute 11 seconds ahead of her compatriots.
Posted on 10 Aug
Light winds and strong tide thwart Hamburg opener
Mother Nature refused to play ball on the opening day of Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 5, Hamburg Mother Nature refused to play ball on the opening day of Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 5, Hamburg, presented by Land Rover, resulting in no scoring races being completed. Conditions in the German venue are predicted to improve from tomorrow.
Posted on 10 Aug