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The Gonet Monofoil: the latest in Swiss innovation

by Monofoil Gonet 20 May 2018 23:16 PDT
The Gonet Monofoil © Loris Von Siebenthal

The Monofoil Gonet, developed in the strictest of secrecy for the last two years, will make its mark on the sailing world when it lines up on Lake Geneva during the upcoming spring classics.

Designed and skippered by talented sailor, Eric Monnin in collaboration with Damian Weiss, this innovative creation was built at Weiss Yachts with the support of some major names in naval architecture and marine engineering such as Simon Bovay, construction manager, Chris Hill, Clemens Dransfield, structural calculations manager and Jean-Claude Monnin. In charge of simulation calculations and foil design, Jean-Claude is Eric's brother and one of the pillars of the Emirates Team New Zealand design team.

Launched and tested away from prying eyes in the centre of Switzerland, the arrival of the Gonet Monofoil on Lake Geneva is hotly anticipated. It will undergo some final tests before preparing for the Swiss regatta season.

The Gonet Monofoil was imagined and designed before the America's Cup made its spectacular and unexpected move to the flying monohull. "For a long time, I've been watching the extraordinary performance of foiling sailing boats," said designer Eric Monnin. "Several impressive monohull projects have been developed since the success of the foiling Moth, such as the Quant 23, but it is still an evolving area, and I've always found that there is something missing."

The Gonet Monofoil is packed full of innovations. The foils are spectacularly pioneering, but the devil is in the detail and it is the minutiae, designed to simplify sailing and allow for adjustments to the boat at different speeds, that is the most staggering. "It's a modest sailing boat size-wise, measuring only eight metres, but it has the potential to win the Bol d'Or if the weather conditions are favourable," predicted Monnin.

The first sail trials demonstrated the Gonet Monofoil's prodigious pedigree: steady on its foils, it quickly notched up 25 knots (approx. 50km/h). Sailed by four crew, it weighs 850kgs and has a relatively modest 80m2 sail area which makes it easier to handle.

The Geneva and Lausanne bank, Gonet & Cie SA, is the title sponsor of this new sailing adventure. The bank has a long history of success on Lake Geneva and as winners of the 2006 Bol d'Or with a Decision 35 and sponsor of two foiling prototypes from 2009 to 2012, it is returning to the leading edge of innovation with enthusiasm. "The lake and sailing are part of our DNA. We have always been passionate about innovation and we are proud of our region," said Nicolas Gonet, CEO. "We were seduced by Eric Monnin's project, which combines precision and daring and gives us the opportunity to support an exciting sports and technology mission."

Technical specifications

  • LOA: 8 m
  • Beam: 2.5 m
  • Displacement (empty): 850 kg
  • Mast height: 12.2 m
  • Mainsail area: 32 m"
  • Headsail area: 16 m"
  • Gennaker area: 50 m"
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