l’Hydroptère.ch attempts Lake Geneva's blue ribbon record

Airborne cat comes very close...

Thursday July 12th 2012, Author: Bernard Schopfer, Location: none selected

The experimental catamaran l’Hydroptère.ch, crewed by Daniel Schmaeh, Stéphane Dyen, Gaël Ledoux, Guillaume Coyon and Cédric Pochelon, today made an attempt on Lake Geneva's Blue Ribbon speed record from Geneva and le Bouveret and back, a record held since 2007 by a Décision 35, skippered by Philippe Cardis, of 4 hrs 53 mins 19 secs.

After having left at 10.30 a.m., propelled by a strong westerly wind, the hydrofoil catamaran made exceptional time to Le Bouveret, reaching Yvoire in less than half an hour and then Le Bouveret in 1 hour 44 minutes – the absolute record for this part of the passage.

The return trip proved more challenging. l’Hydroptère.ch finally crossed the line after 5 hrs 17 mins 42 secs – one of the best performances of the year.

"Our outbound journey was extraordinary," enthused Daniel Schmaeh, skipper of l’Hydroptère.ch. But conditions proved particularly unfavourable on the return trip. We were expecting the Joran on this small lake; instead, we were hit by a westerly wind required us to perform numerous tacks. That cost us the record."

Record attempts on Lake Geneva are normally made in northerly winds, and the l’Hydroptère.ch team knew very well when they left this morning that conditions were not perfect.

"For us, it was above all a good opportunity to acquaint ourselves with the course and to work on our manoeuvres," explained project head Jérémie Lagarrigue, who followed the attempt from a distance. "We knew that the record would be very difficult to beat, which gives us even greater satisfaction that we came so close. We will of course continue with our attempts and try to prove that boats equipped with hydrofoils are superior to other vessels. Indeed, the goal of Hydros is not simply to beat records: it is to prove that efficient use of technology can reduce energy consumption and thus improve energy output, be this in relation to a race yacht or an industrial application."

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