Photo: AD Images

Hydros first to arrive in Falmouth

Swiss team testing their two C-Class foiling catamaran in the Little America's Cup venue

Tuesday September 3rd 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

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 in Falmouth. They confirm that their yachts are flying well on their foils, both downwind and upwind...

"We are the first team to benefit from having two yachts and also the first to sail on the waters of the regatta venue," says Jérémie Lagarrigue, head of the Hydros project. "We are very excited about capitalising on both of these advantages. We will be able to gain 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 ability, particularly upwind."

The C-Class has allowed the Hydros team to explore cutting-edge technology. With financial support from Lombard Odier & Cie and working alongside engineers HDS, designers VPLP and the university research facility at EPFL, the heads of Team Hydros have developed two identical catamarans, built at the Décision SA shipyard in Ecublens using the revolutionary TPT carbon fibre technology, as used in Southern Spars masts. Rightly so - this technology, best known for its used in North 3Di sails, was originally created in Switzerland for the Alinghi America's Cup campaign.

Over and above the technological and scientific development that is Team Hydros' foremost priority, the Class C Catamaran Championship also attracts some of the best sailors, and winning it represents a considerable achievement. Billy Besson and Jérémie Lagarrigue as well as the Dutch duo of Bastiaan Tentij and Mischa Heemskerk make up the two Hydros crews. 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 F18 class, while Besson added another World Championship win in the Nacra F17 Olympic catamaran. The Dutch duo have also achieved top results on the Dutch and European catamaran circuits.

Over the next two weeks in Falmouth, the team will focus on testing foils, which will enable them to fine-tune their 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!"


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