September 09, 2009. A new world record - this is what everything is about in the bay of Hyères in Southern France. The trimaran "Hydroptère" is speeding over the Mediterranean sea. The airflow hitting the crew on board at wind force 7 is so strong that spray is stirred up feeling like slaps in their faces. Forces of nature pull at every part of the ship. However, the record is achieved: Hydroptère reaches a speed of 51.35 knots (about 95 km/h) and is thus considered the fastest sailing boat in the world for the distances of 500 and 1000 m.
This success was made possible by one man's ideas. Alain Thébault of France has been pursuing his dream of building the fastest sailing boat in the world for decades - a ship that moves so fast that it flies over the water. To make this dream a reality, Thébault has consistently relied on leading-edge technologies.
The developers of Hydroptère virtually reinvented ship building. Highly innovative materials, optimized design and many tests: Every component used in Hydroptère has been tested to achieve the objective - the world record. Here are a few examples:
- The Hydroptère team has developed the so-called "Hydrofoil" - a special material that withstands loads of up to 45 tons and achieves sufficient thrust without creating turbulence in the water.
- The ship's mast is made from titanium - and costs an impressive 400,000 Euro.
- The boat is made from carbon, the sails are woven from carbon fiber.
When bordering on the very limits of feasibility, using professional and powerful test and measurement equipment is a must.