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The Next Generation Of Sailing Speed Record

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  • The Next Generation Of Sailing Speed Record

    Speed ​​world record under sail: Swiss SP80 project begins with boat building
    The Holy Grail
    08/12/2021 by Carsten Kemmling

    Nine years ago, Paul Larsen set the speed record under sail to an almost unattainable 65.45 knots. Now the time seems ripe to venture into a new dimension.

    Vestas Sailrocket's big jump in speed to a 65.45 knot cut over 500 meters had a deterrent effect on other potential record hunters. The paralysis lasted ten years. Now it starts again. The record could fall in 2022. In any case, the Swiss SP80 team means it more seriously than the many adventurer and hobbyist projects that have announced their ambitions to get the Holy Grail in recent years.

    There's more to it than just rendering and testing prototypes . Following the announcement of the watch manufacturer Richard Mille as the main sponsor, the Swiss have now commissioned a renowned shipyard to build the “boat”, which is more like an airplane.

    The Italians from Persico Marine are supposed to make the potential record breaker a reality. At the Bergamo shipyard, roughly the entire fleet of the Volvo 65 standard fleet has been built, as well as the Luna Rossa AC75 Cupper.

    40 engineers and students involved
    In particular, the experience with the processing of ultra-light TPT carbon led to the choice of the shipyard. North Thin Ply Technology is a world leader in the manufacture of lightweight prepreg materials and, like the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), is involved in the company.

    SP80 was founded in 2018 by the three engineers Xavier Lepercq, Benoît Gaudiot and Mayeul van den Broek. Today her company consists of around 40 engineers and students from EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne).

    The involvement of the Persico shipyard is another important step on the way to the record. Persico spokesman Mark Somerville cites “pushing the boundaries of new technologies” as the reason for interest in the project. "We can't wait to see the boat in action."

    The design of the SP80 has little to do with a classic sailboat, but looks more like an airplane. The main body should be seven meters long and the width of the two booms will be six meters in total.

    “We have the same performance and quality requirements as Persico Marine,” says Mayeul van den Broek, co-founder of SP80. “We are in constant contact with the Italian team at the shipyard. Nothing is left to chance. We are confident that the boat will meet our expectations and that its structure will withstand the loads for which we have designed it. After three years of intensive work on optimizing our concept, the entire team is very proud to see the final boat take shape at Persico Marine. The launch is imminent and we are already looking forward to the first speed run. "

    SP80 is expected to be launched in spring 2022. The first run will take place in summer 2022. The aim is to reach the 80-knot mark (150 km / h) by the end of the year.

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