On board L'Hydroptere.ch

Loris van Siebenthal / www.myimage.ch
Video of her systems and explanation of the latest objectives of the 'Hydros' campaign
If the future of performance yachting and indeed some areas of commercial shipping lie in the use lifting foils, then a country among the frontrunners leading the charge into researching this is Switzerland. With monohulls over the last decade we have seen the advent of the foiling Moths and Thomas Jundt’s air-borne three man skiff, Mirabaud LX (although it is slightly surprising we haven’t seen more dinghies, both single and doublehanded, following this path given the phenomenal success of the Moth). Then there are developments such as the Hugh Welbourn-conceived Dynamic Stability System, with a retractable lifting foil, protruding from the leeward side of the boat, that generates righting moment. More and more DSS-equipped boats are being launched, the most recent being the Infiniti 36 GT. And update on this follows. But much development work on lifting foils is also taking place with multihulls, which due to their lightweight are perhaps the most appropriate craft for this technology. In addition to the studies no doubt being carried out by America’s Cup design teams with their AC72 foils, leading the charge into air-born multihulls are the L’Hydroptère campaigns. We use the plural because last winter they went their separate ways. French originator of L’Hydroptère, Alain Thebault, has teamed up with DCNS to back his famous tri-foiler. This year the boat has been changed back into its ‘offshore’ configuration and after scaring its passengers in San Francisco at the America’s Cup World Series last week, is now on stand-by awaiting a weather window to make an attempt on the Transpac record from Los Angeles to Hawaii. Back in Switzerland, the team behind L'Hydroptère.ch, along with their principle backer – Thierry Lombard, Managing Partner of Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch & Cie bank - is now concentrating more on the R&D side to its project, while also