Successful launch on Lake Geneva for SP80
August 21, 2023
It’s done! Our little rocket has left the workshop and hit the water for the first time. We were eager to watch her sail on Lake Geneva before sending her to south of France for further developments. In addition to being the culmination of years of work, this launch is the first step of a new adventure: after years behind our screens, it’s time to get practical!
Let’s recap one emotional week for the team.
One day before launch
The boat’s several parts (main hull, crossbeam and floats) are loaded behind the cars and a rather special convoy sets off for the SUI 46°16′ shipyard in Mies.
The workshop now looks quite empty, and we look back with a bit of nostalgia on the past couple of years: the boat’s first part had arrived in 2021, and a colossal amount of work has been done to get a ready-to-sail boat two years later.
Excitement rises as our boat will hit the water for the first time in only a couple of hours! She’s assembled on the lakeside and a final check is done to ensure that everything is ready. A final briefing is made so that everyone knows their role for the launch. Once we’re all set, it’s finally go time!
The team is torn between sheer joy and apprehension: “We’ve been waiting for this moment for years. It’s finally time to see what she can do on water! Obviously it’s both amazing and a little stressful, so we’re hoping that everything will go according to plan.” – Charles Cantenot, in charge of systems integration on the boat.
She’s on water!
Emotion is tangible and some eyes are even a little watery… the team has dreamed of this moment for so long that we take a few minutes to savour it.
Soon, impatience to sail returns, the pilots come aboard and our little rocket is attached to a motorboat for its very first trials.
In addition to gathering data, this first day is also about fine-tuning the logistics involved around the navigations. For example, how to efficiently communicate between our little rocket, the boat towing her and the chase-boat following close in case we need to intervene quickly?
The aim of our week on Lake Geneva was to tow the boat, measure its drag and compare these results with our previous computer predictions. We’ve also already been able to observe the boat’s behavior at over 30 knots!
« We still have a long way to go before we can claim the record, but we’re really pleased with this test session! The fact that the launch went so well is a big relief for the whole team, and now we can’t wait to attach a kite to the boat! » – Benoit Gaudiot, pilot and co-founder.
What about the next steps?
The team and boat have arrived in Leucate (France), and a new part of the challenge begins. The next few months will be dedicated to optimizing the boat: first we’ll have to learn how to pilot this unique ship and sail it with a small kite. Then, we’ll gradually increase the kite’s size and thus the boat’s speed. These are exciting times ahead, and we can’t wait to share them with you!
© All pictures credited to Guillaume Fischer
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