l’Hydroptère.ch sustained damage this afternoon while attempting to break Lake Geneva’s Ruban Bleu, the speed record around the lake from and back to Geneva, over 66 miles.
Crewed by Daniel Schmaeh, Stéphane Dyen, Jérémie Lagarrigue, Guillaume Coyon, and Gaël Ledoux, l’Hydroptère.ch set sail from Geneva at 11:38 and completed the first part of the course in a remarkable time. After an hour and 20 minutes of sailing, the experimental hydrofoil catamaran was just short of Le Bouveret set to make an exceptionally fast time, shaving 20 minutes off the record she set last week.
"We were sailing at full speed, with the catamaran perfectly positioned on its hydrofoils, when one of the two hulls ploughed sharply into the trough of a wave. We slowed abruptly, and the hull suddenly snapped at the front link arm," explained Jérémie Lagarrigue.
None of the crew members were injured, and l’Hydroptère.ch's mast remained in place. The boat was towed to Lausanne, where detailed investigations will be conducted to discover the cause of the damage.
The Ruban Bleu record has been held since 2007 by a Décision 35 catamaran skippered by Philippe Cardis with a time of 4:53:19. l’Hydroptère.ch has clearly demonstrated over the past few weeks that it is the fastest boat on Lake Geneva, but the conditions have not yet been right for setting a new record.
"That's what's unique about these records," said Jérémie Lagarrigue: "They are difficult to beat. We are determined to improve on the current speed, but we are also perfectly aware of the difficulties of this task. The bar has been set high, and we need everything to come together at the same time – good technology, good weather conditions, and a first-rate crew. We had all this in place, but fate had another plan today. It's only a temporary setback."