I have posted that after their last year failed attempt at the Transpacific Sail record (they never leave California for lack of favorable weather conditions) Hydroptere had run in financial trouble for not enough sponsorship. I am happy to announce that they have solved the problem and they are back. They will attempt the Transpacific record again this year.
This record is specially important because after Hydroptere claimed the absolute sail record (beaten after that by a wind surfer and after that by Vestas) it remains by far the fastest sailboat of considerable dimensions and the only of the record breakers with offshore capability.
The development of those offshore capabilities are very important in what regards sail technology and boat design. That's why it is important the Hydroptere to be well and alive continuing his hydrodynamic, aerodynamic research.
"On Wednesday 17th April, in the Parisian workshop of the architect Jean Nouvel, Alain Thébault and his teammates Jean Le Cam and Yves Parlier announced the continuation of the ocean program for Hydroptere. In a few weeks, they will try to beat the record of the Transpacific crossing between Los Angeles and Honolulu.
Sitting side by side on an Air France flight, Alain Thébault and Jean Nouvel discovered that they had some similar ideas. Even if one of them is between the sea and the sky, and the other one on the earth, they have something important in common: the persistence and imagination in the creation of new concepts. It is in the large room of Jean Nouvel Design workshops that Alain Thébault and his crew members announced their imminent departure to California.
A year ago, Hydroptere was getting ready in the Mediterranean before being brought to California to try to beat the Transpacific record. As she arrived in Los Angeles too late to benefit from the favourable weather window of June and July, Hydroptere headed to San Francisco to continue her training and greet her fellows of the America's Cup. The French trimaran was the first to fly in the bay at over 45 knots. ...
This winter, Hydroptere gained two additional supports. The French investment company Capital Fund Management and the editor of driving assistance solutions Coyote System joined as official partners Lanson Champagne, the innovative companies CLIP Industrie and Atheos. "The budget of the record is almost complete. The project is still open to other partners who wish to join the adventure and get a historical record with us" told Alain Thébault.
Hydroptere is currently based in Alameda, east of San Francisco Bay. Thanks to Warren Fitzgerald and Jeff Mearing, the trimaran was lifted ashore by crane on Monday 15th April. She will receive a complete check-up before being launched in early May and then brought to Los Angeles where she will be positioned in standby for the record.
The Transpacific record
From the end of May, the period of stand-by will start. To fly over the swell from Los Angeles to Honolulu, the composition of the crew will be exceptional: Alain Thébault, designer and skipper of Hydroptere, Jean Le Cam, Yves Parlier and Jacques Vincent, his faithful fellows who hold together some of the best records of ocean racing. ...
.. "In June the position of the Pacific anticyclone is ideal because it provides the most direct route to Hawaii. The thermal wind is active in this season and we will quickly leave the California coast. Then we will surf the long Pacific swell downwind and we will probably have to make a gibe close the Hawaiian Islands "said Yves Parlier.
Pure speed and offshore records
After introducing the objectives of the Transpacific record, Alain Thébault talked about the future challenges of the team. Program: alternating between offshore records and pure speed. After the Pacific, Alain Thébault wants to focus on the absolute sailing speed record, a grail he had already won in 2009.
The engineers of the team are now working on the design of a two-seater prototype whose objective will be to cross the average sailing speed barrier of 80 knots.
"Thanks to the performance of Paul Larsen on Vestas SailRocket, sailing has entered the equivalent of supersonic era. The physical barrier of 50/55 knots has exploded. There is no more brake. Now we have to focus on an average speed of 80 knots with potential peaks at 100 knots, "said Alain Thébault. Anders Bringdal, the multi-titled Swedish windsurfer and long-time friend, will form the duet with Alain Thébault to pilot this new craft."
Very nice to see sail speed freaks from all sail disciplines to focus together on sailspeed records
it seems that the Hydroptere will be maintained and developed for offshore records while a new smaller boat will be created to attempt absolute speed records: nice
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hydroptere sailboat to set transpacific fastest speed record