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.
Jean Le Cam has just completed a new world tour and imperially takes the fifth place in the Vendée Globe Race in exactly 88 days. "King Jean" will be a crewmember of l'Hydroptère for the Pacific record attempt next summer.
After an eventful year and a first summer spent in the USA, the Hydroptere team of Alain Thébault is taking advantage of the winter season to fine-tune their technological and sports program. The partner search continues.
French naval defense group DCNS stops its support towards Hydroptere's oceanic program. Alain Thébault and his team thank DCNS whose support helped launch the 'flying boat' oceanic campaign. "DCNS gave us the means to start the adventure and we will go all the way", said Alain Thébault.
Jacques Vincent, co-skipper of Hydroptere, Luc Alphand, the latest member of the team, and the programme’s four technicians, François Cazala, Warren Fitzgerald, Jeff Mearing and Pierre Tocny, were able to put the flying trimaran through her paces on the water on Sunday in her definitive record configuration.Having set off from Gladstone’s pontoon in Rainbow Harbor Marina at around 1300 hours local time, the team on Hydroptere enjoyed a great day on the water, with 15 to 20 knots of breeze over the course of their first American sea trial.
On the programme, the six men aboard began by testing the various configurations of the new sail plan. On the boat’s stern section, a wind generator has been fitted to the mainsail traveller with the aim of providing additional power to the crew during the record attempt.
After this first series of operations, the fastest sailboat on the planet set a course for Catalina Island and the bulk of the afternoon was devoted to trialling the servo-control of the aft stabiliser. Developed by’ engineers, this system, a pioneer in its own way, enables the trim of the flying trimaran to be controlled more responsively, particularly in heavy seas.
The new carbon skeg (the part which supports the stabiliser on the boat’s aft section), which was dry-fitted a few days ago, is working perfectly. It replaces a previous heavier version, which was made of aluminium.“We’re going to be able to continue with our sea trials whilst we wait for a weather window to take shape. We’re satisfied with this initial outing and everyone worked well. The servo-control of the lift surface, a modification introduced with, could be a major turning point in the improvements to the boat. We’re starting from scratch here so we’re moving forward a step at a time, but the initial results are very encouraging”, concludes François Cazala, the boat’s technical manager.
The technical team also tested its new onboard desalinator, which is a symbol of the flying trimaran’s transition to offshore racing.
NB: no favourable weather window appears to be shaping up within the next week at least
L'HYDROPTÈRE at full speed in the long beach bay - COPYRIGHT T. LESAGE
JEFF MEARING, FRANÇOIS CAZALA, JACQUES VINCENT ET PIERRE TOCNY in command - COPYRIGHT T. LESAGE
JEFF MEARING, JACQUES VINCENT, WARREN FITZGERALD ET LUC ALPHAND went 30 knots for their first run - COPYRIGHT T. LESAGE