The two teams representing Switzerland at the International C Class Catamaran Championship from 21 to 28 September were the first to start training at the regatta venue at Falmouth (UK). They confirm that their yachts are flying well on their foils, both downwind and upwind, which could make a decisive difference!
Falmouth (UK), 3 September 2013 – Two teams flying the Swiss flag are preparing to compete in the “Little America’s Cup” – the International C Class Catamaran Championship – which will take place at Falmouth (UK) from 21 to 28 September.
“We are the first team to benefit from having two yachts and also the first to navigate the waters of the regatta venue,” says a delighted Jérémie Lagarrigue, head of the Hydros project. “And we are very excited about capitalizing on both of these advantages! We will be able to gain a good knowledge of the conditions at the championship venue, which is excellent, and, above all, we will be able to try out different configurations of foils, which should enable us to make substantial and rapid progress and improve our flight quality, particularly upwind.”
This major international competition, which was established in 1961 and is affectionately known as the “Little America’s Cup”, stands for fundamental research and groundbreaking technological development without boundaries. The two-man yachts must measure a maximum of 7.62 m in length, with a sail surface area of no more than 27.8 m2 – beyond that, teams are free to do as they will! This simplicity is precisely what makes the class so exciting, since yacht designers are forced to explore cutting-edge techniques. With financial support from Lombard Odier & Cie and working alongside HDS, VPLP and EPFL, the heads of Team Hydros have developed two identical catamarans, built at the Décision SA shipyard in Ecublens using the revolutionary TPT carbon fiber technology.
Over and above the technological and scientific development that is Team Hydros’ foremost priority, the Class C Catamaran Championship also attracts seasoned sailors, and victory is a true sporting achievement. Billy Besson and Jérémie Lagarrigue as well as the Dutch pair Bastiaan Tentij and Mischa Heemskerk make up the two Hydros teams. They have been training flat out for this championship and have already won several prestigious titles. Besson and Lagarrigue won this summer’s world championship in the F 18 catamaran class, a title to which Billy Besson added his triumph at the Nacra F 17 Olympic class championship. As for the Netherlands duo, they have also achieved first-rate results on the Dutch and European circuits.
The next two weeks will be devoted to testing the foils, which will enable the team to fine-tune its sailing technique, both downwind and upwind, potentially carving out a decisive advantage. “We have a very precise training program,” says Lagarrigue. “Next we will be testing the actual world championship course, before moving on to practicing match racing maneuvers once our competitors have joined us at the venue. This will ensure that they are unable to gauge our performance, and they won’t see our secret weapons!”
Photo: © ADImages
Sunday 22 to Tuesday 24 September: Fleet racing
Wednesday 25 September: Rest day/lay day
Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 September: Match racing + petit fleet
Headquartered at EPFL, the Swiss company Hydros (Hydroptère Suisse SA) is a unique hub for research and development in the field of optimization for materials used in both water and air. Hydros mainly consists of three pillars: HydroCup (participation in the World Cup by Class C Boats with its wholly developed energy-efficient boats), HydroContest (worldwide competition among technical universities) and HydroRecord (an application that allows each individual to record and register record attempts on a smartphone).
In 2013 Hydros will represent Switzerland in the World Championships for Class C Boats, called the “Little America’s Cup”, with two boats and crews. Last year, the team set records for distance and speed on Lake Geneva. At the World Championships, Hydros will compete against the best sailing teams in the world. Along with this global competition, the HydroContest will be launched at technical universities.
The vision of Hydros, which includes both research and development, and the involvement of corporations, contributes to the development of sustainable energy and the acquisition of new knowledge through sport. The findings, of course, will not only be valuable to sport, but will also be useful for industrial projects that advance increased energy efficiency and renewable energies.