Photo: Pierre-Alain Folliet / Mirabaud

Mirabaud LX gets a bigger wing

The latest from Thomas Jundt's foiler project

Thursday May 3rd 2012, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: Switzerland

Mirabaud LX, the Swiss experimental foiler owned by Thomas Jundt has been fitted a new and improved 24m² solid wingsail for this season. The crew took their Mirabaud & Cie-backed foiler for a successful shakedown sail yesterday evening for the first time.

Thomas Jundt, Antoine Ravonel and Eric Gobet who make up Mirabaud LX's three-man crew, reassembled the boat last weekend after a busy winter of building the wing and maintaining and improving the platform.

The Mirabaud LX rigid wing (similar to the concept to those used on the AC45 and 72 America’s Cup boats) has been increased by 5m² for this season, as Thomas Jundt explains: “Last year, we concluded that the wing is a great solution, but unfortunately we under-sized our first one thinking that its performance would compensate for the surface area.” He adds: “In practice however, the wing is much easier to handle than a soft sail as it never flaps, so our goal with this new one is to have more power in order to foil earlier.”

Mathias Bavaud, a composite specialist based in Yverdon, Switzerland, led the wing modifications, increasing the wing area from the bottom. “Structurally, it was easier to do it this way,” says Thomas Jundt, an engineer by profession who once again was in charge of the calculations. “The aft element cord has been increased from 1m to 1.3m, inspired by the AC45 wing profile.”

The first impressions after yesterday’s shakedown sail were pretty conclusive: “We went out, we set up the wing and we foiled!” said a delighted Jundt. “There is a lot of power in it. We didn’t trim it on too hard, as having seen the performance we will need to reinforce a few vulnerable areas, but overall we are very happy with this improvement.”

This year goals for Mirabaud LX are to set a number of Lake Geneva records: the kilometre record, the hour record and the ‘Ruban Violet’ (purple ribbon). The team will also race the Geneva-Rolle-Geneva, the Bol d’Or Mirabaud, the Six Hours of Nernier and the Versoix Double.

The shore crew has been bolstered with the addition of a weather boat that will collect data during the training sessions to analyse and improve performance. Philippe Baraud, a sailor and the co-founder of the Regatta Training Centre, will lead this project.

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