Foiling trimaran returns in pursuit of 50kts

Hydrofoiling trimaran l’Hydroptère returned to the French port of La Trinité sur Mer this week after six months of tweaks and refinements. After a long period spent configuring the flying trimaran for pure speed, the l’Hydroptère team took the opportunity of a quiet weather period to put the boat back in the water and to remast her.

Last season, the carbon bird broke two world speed records. In April 2007, l’Hydroptère broke a first record over 500 meters at an average speed of 44.81 knots and a second one over one nautical mile, a performance which made her the fastest craft over the last distance.

After this triumph, the team decided to temporarily set aside open sea trials in order to concentrate on breaking the 50 knot speed barrier. Thus, 2008 will be devoted to pure speed.

In order to accomplish this, studies and trials have been carried out by a team of engineers, in collaboration with the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. The rigging, the platform and the external parts have been finely modified to bring the boat’s speed potential over 50 knots.

The next few days will be devoted to a series of tests on the new rigging and sails, and on the recently installed textile streamlining. L’Hydroptère will then be convoyed to Lorient, where she will be transported by cargo ship to the Mediterranean. After a final phase of assembly in Marseille, l’Hydroptère will be able to tackle her goal for 2008 – to become the fastest sailing craft on the planet.

For more information on this amazing project, visit the team’s website.