Working towards ocean sailing

Alain Thébault, Thierry Lombard and their team have taken the revolutionary 60ft Hydrofoil trimaran Hydroptere to yet another new world speed record averaging 50.17 knots (92.91 km/h) over a distance of 1NM (subject to ratification by the World Speed Sailing Record Council).

The 11-man crew set the new record on Sunday, November 8th, in a 28-knot northwesterly wind off Hyeres, Provence.

Thebault commented that he and his team would now concentrate on ocean sailing, having broken both the 500m (averaging 51.36knots) and 1NM speed records. The peak speed on 8 November was a near-Force 11 gale speed of 55 knots (102.78km/h).

“Thanks to this historic double record, l’Hydroptère is confirmed as the fastest sailcraft on the planet. This exceptional performance is a tribute to the work of a determined and experienced team, which developed and implemented revolutionary and innovative solutions.”

said Philippe Merk, CEO of Audemars Piguet, the project’s new sponsors.

Audemars Piguet and Lombard Odier are also sponsoring l’Hydroptère.ch, which will take to the waters of Lake Geneva, Switzerland, in summer 2010. It will serve as a laboratory and a think tank for the ambitious Hydroptère Maxi project, the ultimate goal of which is to sail round the world in 40 days, thus pursuing the dream of Jules Verne.

“This great human and technological adventure is backed today by two

prestigious firms that solidify our roots. The arrival of Audemars Piguet alongside private bankers Lombard Odier moves me deeply. This strong support is a great motivational force for me and the team. In an ongoing humble family spirit, our ambition is now to unfurl our wings on the open seas, collectively and around the world,” concludes Alain Thébault.