Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Dinghy Wetsuits

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

Barz Optics - Kids rangeHelm Events 660x82Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

America’s Cup Endeavour Junior Hobie Wave Race to be held in Bermuda
Teams from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand and Sweden will race in Bermuda. Hobie has provided Waves for the use of school-aged kids in Bermuda, New York, Chicago, and Toulon. The kids see the America’s Cup boats and then the Hobie Wave and instantly get the connection.
Posted on 5 Dec
Extreme GC32's training action-shots by Beth Morley
Beth Morley provided this gallery of images from Extreme GC32's training and out on the Harbour yesterday Beth Morley provided this gallery of images from Extreme GC32's training and out on Harbour yesterday.
Posted on 5 Dec
Flight of the Pterodactyls
And you can be sure that it is very much a product of, and absolutely going to change, the future of our sport. OK. Well that pretty much sets up a mindset from a time long, long ago. However, this is something from the here and now. And you can be sure that it is very much a product of, and absolutely going to change, the future of our sport. The SuperFoiler is 7.9m long, 5.14m wide, has a 12.5m rig and a 295kg sailing weight. It has been developed to be the fastest course yacht ever, so to get a handle on
Posted on 27 Nov
St-Barth Cata Cup - Day goes to Pierre Le Clainche and Antoine Joubert
They are getting familiar with top of leaderboard of Cata Cup and toady was no exception for French duo Le Clainche They are getting familiar with the top of the leaderboard of the St Barth Cata Cup and toady was no exception for the French duo Le Clainche and Joubert, with a first place finish in the morning and a second place in the afternoon.
Posted on 20 Nov
St-Barth Cata Cup - Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani in action
Day 2 was more challenging for crews. In the end, Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani who came out winners The second day of racing was somewhat more challenging for the crews. In the end, it was Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker and Olivier Gagliani who came out winners of the St-Barth Assurances Allianz Grand Prize.
Posted on 19 Nov
Helm Events- Official Guest Yacht Supplier of the 35th America's Cup
In 2017 Bermuda will host the most prestigious and historic international sporting event in the world. In 2017 Bermuda will host the most prestigious and historic international sporting event in the world, the 35th America's Cup, with Helm Events announced as the official charter yacht supplier. Fans and spectators can now combine the excitement of witnessing this thrilling live sporting event with a week staying on-board their own catamaran.
Posted on 18 Nov
St Barth Cata Cup - Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot in action
The Race Committee had a surprise in store to kick-off 2016 edition of the St Barth Cata Cup: the Round the Island race The Race Committee had a surprise in store to kick-off the 2016 edition of the St Barth Cata Cup: the Round the Island race, usually held on the Saturday. The fleet started at 1:30 pm on the right of St-Jean Baie to leave Tortue on starboard, continuing to a race mark in Anse de Saline.
Posted on 18 Nov
World Sailing - Women highest polling candidates for Vice-President
Women candidates polled the highest in the election for Vice-President at the just concluded World Sailing General Assem Women candidates polled the highest in the election for Vice-President at the just concluded World Sailing General Assembly. There were fifteen candidates for seven positions on the former Executive Committee now the Board of World Sailing. In the full voting results just released by World Sailing, female candidates took three of the top four positions.
Posted on 16 Nov
World Sailing - GAC Pindar sign long term partnership with world body
GAC Pindar have confirmed that they have entered in to partnership with World Sailing. GAC Pindar have signed a memorandum of understanding for a long-term partnership with the international governing body and the anticipated relationship will see GAC Pindar become an Official Partner of World Sailing. The relationship will last until 31 December 2020, with GAC Pindar granted exclusivity in the marine logistics and shipping sector.
Posted on 10 Nov
World Sailing Conference - Forum on Sponsorship and New Media + Video
The Commercial Strategy for the Sport Forum was hosted by broadcaster, adventurer and sailor, Hannah White The Commercial Strategy for the Sport Forum was hosted by broadcaster, adventurer and sailor, Hannah White, who was joined by an expert line up of speakers.
Posted on 10 Nov