Posts Tagged ‘Switzerland’
Our non-Swiss readers may not know that the HYDROS team up in Lake Geneva isn’t just a bunch of sailboat racers – it’s a big partnership between commercial players in the energy market, a major bank, one of the Europe’s top universities, and a pile of really bright sailors and engineers thinking up ways to push the boundaries of energy efficiency within a spirit of environmental responsibility. As the closet tree-huggers most sailors are, we love what Jeremie and the team are doing – and not just with foiling sailboats.
Enter the bit of news we got today about the HYDROcontest, where in just 10 days, 14 student teams from 7 nations will come to Lausanne with the 20 or so electric-powered boats they’ve been working on for the better part of a year. The goal? The fastest boat, using the least amount of energy; the winner may have the potential to revolutionize powerboats and shipping. Check out the first episode of the HYROcontest series on Youtube here, and subscribe to their channel for frequent features showing off the new concepts they’ve found. Note: The pic to the left is NOT one of their concepts – just a cool pic we found!
July 11th, 2014 by admin
We are both stoked and scared about the just-round-the-corner 2015 Little America’s Cup; stoked to see ultra-enthusiast Jeremie Lagarrigue (Hydros.CH) making so much happen in advance of next summer’s event on Lake Geneva – a sexy new logo, sweet promo videos like this one above, an ultra-organized committee pulling in sponsorship and working to encourage competitors, and plenty of behind-the-scenes work to make the event as interesting as Jeremie and his team. But we’re very afraid after seeing that this morning’s Press Conference – the first thrown by the Organizers for next year’s event – was almost entirely in French.
By this time, all SA readers will know that your Editors are avowed Francophiles. Thanks to Mr. Clean, Ryan Breymaier, Ronnie Simpson, and dozens of other contributors, no English-speaking website has done more in-depth coverage of major French races than we have over the past 5 years, and more than 100,000 Frenchmen click on SA every month whether they can speak English or not. And of course, no culture has done more for the advancement of high-performance multihull development than the Franco-Suisse; they are responsible for more big racing multihulls than any other; without them, we’d never have the ORMA 60, the MOD-70, the BOR-90, the Alinghi 90, the America’s Cup 72, or dozens of other world-leading and groundbreaking boats. But there’s a real danger in letting things “turn Franco-Suisse,” especially in the context of one of sailing’s most historic classes. With all due respect to the original slogan so enjoyed by the urban aware, “once you go French, very few come back.”
Note the Open 60 and its governing body IMOCA; founded by an American, a Swiss man, a French woman, an Italian, and an Englishman, it was originally intended to be a truly international group to govern the sport’s premier solo racing class. Within 8 years, it had been almost entirely taken over by French-speakers, with a tiny handful of non Franco-Suisse ever getting to the table – a problem so grave it forced IMOCA to bring in Sir Keith Mills’ OSM organization last year to try to internationalize and invigorate the stagnating class. Note the MOD-70; a brilliant idea and a spectacular boat at a surprisingly low price, killed almost before it began by it’s developer and the Franco-Suisse organizing body’s overreliance on French marketing and sponsorship infrastructure during trying times. Note the ORMA-60; a perfect example of too many eggs in one basket, with a fleet almost entirely destroyed in one race along with a dozen sponsors’ goodwill and interest in ever sponsoring big oceanic multihulls again. ORMA’s death led to the new prominence of the record-breakers, because there weren’t enough good sponsors left to build another big multihull circuit.
With Jeremie and team putting major effort into winning the next Little Cup, Cammas joining the Lake Geneva fleet to defend his title, and few credible non-French challengers waiting in the wings, we’re definitely afraid of the Little Cup becoming Le Petite Coupe forever. Selfishly for our Senior Editor, it would mean a few nice trips to France or Switzerland every few summers to cover some great racing in one of the world’s most interesting boats. Democratically, it would mean a major loss to the world of the truly ‘international’ competition that’s marked the Little AC for more than half a century. If you want to bone up on that history, have a look at the Team Invictus page here. And if you’d like to skip ahead to Steve Clark and the English-language portion of this morning’s press conference, go here.
Confused by the title? Damned kids these days don’t know shit.
- Tags: C-Class, Cammas, catamarans, France, hydros, lac leman, Lake Geneva, Little AC, Little America's Cup, LIttle Cup, Switzerland
April 30th, 2014 by admin
One of Lake Geneva’s funky little one-design sporties – a Luthi 870 – wasn’t so lucky on Saturday when a CGN ferry swallowed it up just after the start of some weekend racing. Two of the five crew ejected into the water were injured, one seriously, and reports from the course indicate the ferry was tooting away on his horn when the collision happened. According to Le Matin, ferries on the Lake have right of way over all non-emergency traffic…bad news for the sailors and best of luck on their recovery, and Merci a Patrick Michel for the tip from the land of chocolate and cowbells.
September 2nd, 2013 by admin