Alinghi crew go foiler kiting

Loris van Siebenthal /
Nils Frei and Yves Detrey talks us through their radical NTFM Project
Thanks to the last America’s Cup and 10 years of foiling Moths…10 years!...foil-born boats and their development are no longer solely the preserve of AYRS-card carrying, crazy haired former physics professors. During July on Lake Garda the inaugural Foiling Week was held, featuring a gathering of the foiling specialists from all over the globe along with a unique and frankly amazing collection of craft, most inspired by last year’s airborne antics of the AC72s. One craft that in particular caught our eye in Malcesine was the NTFM Project (standing for ‘non ti fermi mai’ or ‘don’t you ever stop…’) as much for the radical nature of the vessel as for the heavyweights behind it – Nils Frei and Yves Detrey, two of the longest serving members of Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi crew, both integral to the present Alinghi Extreme 40 and D35 campaigns but also previously on the Swiss team’s Cup boats. “It is not an Alinghi project, but we talk with Ernesto about it,” says Frei. “He is well informed about what we’re doing because we are still 100% Alinghi. This is just for fun.” Frei and Detrey started work on the project around three years ago, but as very much a part time affair when they were back home in Switzerland between events. The present NTFM Project is a catamaran, based on modified A-Cat hulls. However most evident it is unique foil arrangement. This initially doesn’t look like it is going to suit a catamaran. It doesn’t have the L’Hydroptere-style straight foils that hinge below the main beam attachment to the hulls as used on the Whites Dragons foiling cat, which when lowered to around 45⁰ cause the boat to foil, but when raised allow the boat to be sailed in conventional low rider mode. Nor does it have the two-Moths-strapped-together-to-form-a-catamaran set-up of