The fastest yacht on the planet made it to Californian shores back in July in her bid to break the Transpacific record (Los Angeles – Honolulu). Deprived of a favourable weather window for the attempt over the short term, Alain Thébault’s crew left its base in Long Beach to continue its training in the legendary San Francisco Bay. An opportunity for the flying trimaran, accompanied by its title-sponsor DCNS, to cross tacks with the famous AC45s, which will be racing in the bay throughout the week, as well as presenting its technology at the heart of Silicon Valley.
l’Hydroptère DCNS arrived today in San Francisco Bay at 4.00am (local time). Delivered under her own power from Long Beach by Jacques Vincent, Luc Alphand, Jeff Mearing, Emilie Monthioux and Warren Fitzgerald, the flying trimaran will make the port of Tubiron where she’ll be hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club. The boat is likely to put in her first tacks around the bay on Thursday on the fringes of the AC World Series.
l’Hydroptère DCNS will be visible to the public around the fringes of the AC World Series. The programme detailing time out on the water and events on shore will be communicated over the course of the week. The training programme and the various imperatives linked to the Transpacific record attempt remain the crew’s priority however.
Alain Thébault – skipper
“All the sailing we’re doing on l’Hydroptère DCNS helps us prepare for the Transpacific record attempt. Deprived of wind so far in our bid to take off for Hawaii, we needed to trial the boat during a delivery spanning several days, and it was the perfect moment to head up to San Francisco. It will also give us the chance to cross tacks with these fantastic dragonflies that are the AC45s. We’re keen to see them on the water, particularly given our shared passion for wings. Theirs are in the air while ours are in the water! Our whole team is proud to present our flying carpet in this temple of sailing. This is especially true for the volunteer engineers, who have supported me for over 20 years, for [French sailing legend] Eric Tabarly, as well as the DCNS teams who have supported us and without whom none of this would have been possible. You can picture yourself flying under Golden Gate Bridge and it’s a bit of a childhood dream come true here. As we await the awaking of the wind god on the route to Hawaii, we’ll endeavor to create some very fine images here.”
Jacques Vincent, the boat’s co-skipper
“It has been an important delivery trip, very intense and wet. We left Long Beach in very sunny conditions and almost no wind. When we entered Northern California waters, the weather changed radically, with up to 30 knots of wind and tough sea conditions. We battled upwind for 2 days, and l’Hydroptère DCNS proved again its seaworthiness. During the passage, we tested absolutely everything aboard. The technical systems were in operation constantly so have a lot to analyze for the next few weeks. On site we’ll be carrying out a few sea trials and doubtless we’ll be gunning for a record time between the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge. Naturally, at the slightest hint of a favourable weather window to Honolulu, we’ll drop back down to position ourselves at Long Beach.”
Luc Alphand, one of the crewmen.
“I’m rounding off my first delivery trip on l’Hydroptère DCNS. It’s a real pleasure to trial the boat in these conditions and familiarising myself with night sailing and watch rhythms again… Thus far our focus has been on day sails and the angles downwind in speed configuration, which will be reminiscent of conditions during the record attempt. In this last instance, we’ve had upwind conditions throughout. I’m impressed to see how well the boat goes. At the start of the course we had very little wind but once around “Conception Point”, a third of the way along, we latched onto a good 20 knots of breeze and progress picked up.”
US press attached
French press attached
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