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.
The fastest yacht on the planet, which arrived in California in July in a bid to secure the Transpacific Record (Los Angeles - Honolulu), set the record around the legendary San Francisco Bay yesterday, 31 August 2012.
Alain Thébault, designer and skipper of Hydroptere, and his crew, Jean Le Cam, Jacques Vincent, Yves Parlier, as well as several other sailors, were the first to establish the San Francisco Bay nautical mile speed record (1,852 kilometres). Friday, in the early afternoon (local time), Hydroptere covered this distance at an average speed of 37,5 knots** (or 69,5 km/hr), making her first mark in this iconic bay that sweeps California.
With the record in the bag, Alain Thébault and his men then took part in the Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race organised by the St Francis Yacht Club. Theirs was a symbolic participation because, for safety reasons, Hydroptere set off a few minutes before the official start given the horde of windsurfers, kitesurfers and sports dinghies. Basically Alain Thébault and his crew remained at the head of the fleet from beginning to end and managed to thwart the numerous pitfalls dotted along the 7 miles or so of course between Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge. The crew were able to tease the potential from the flying trimaran despite the current, the big chop and the very deep running conditions. They successfully got around the wind shadow of the island of Alcatraz and then flew along to the finish line.
This comes as the first reward for Alain Thébault, skipper and designer of Hydroptere and his crew in their preparation for the project’s major offshore challenge, which will involve trying to set the Transpacific Record between Los Angeles and Honolulu. The ultimate aim is to demonstrate the offshore potential of ‘flying’ sail boats.
* Alain Thébault has held the outright speed sailing record over one nautical mile (50.17 knots at an average of 95km/hr) since 2009.
** record awaiting approval by the YRA (Yacht Racing Association).
Hydroptere at full speed in the San Francisco bay - Copyright Christophe Launay
the flying trimaran if front of the San Francisco skyline - Copyright Christophe Launay
Jean Le Cam, Yves Parlier, Nicolas Baverez, Alain Thébault, Warren Fitzgerald et Jacques Vincent - Copyright Christophe Launay
Hydroptere and in the back the golden gate bridge - Copyright Christophe Launay
Hydroptere flying by alcatraz - Copyright Christophe Launay