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ripping it up

ripping it up

John Casey gives a good look at a hell of a cool project

HYDROptere.ch has been ripping it up on Lake Geneva lately clocking over 26 knots in 12 true. They are currently waiting for the weather window to attempt the outright speed record. HYDROptere was born from the idea of going faster using less energy through foiling. The idea has grown into Hydros, a multi-stage concept of using sustainable energy and efficient hull design to change our concept of global shipping and pleasure craft.

How often have you hit top speeds that weren’t recorded or nobody believed? Their first special project is the Hydro Speed Tour, a downloadable app that where anyone can register their top speed, which is registered in local, regional and international levels, and can be used on water, air, land or ice. Since HYDROptere.ch and their next design generation will be going for the outright world speed record on water (on every continent) everyone can see how they match up.
Hydros is also knocking out two C-Class catamarans to compete in the I4C in Falmouth next year. Hey, we all know a two-boat program is the only way to go to test out all the different foil combinations these guys are going to come up with. Some of the problems with the foiling C-Class so far have been upwind VMG and increased drag in lighter conditions. They’ve been playing with displacement and foiling modes with HYDROptere.ch, so they have a nice head start on it.

Their third concept using the foiling cat as a focal point, Hydros plans to launch a the HYDROContest in 2014 with every high school in the world who wants to participate. The idea is to start with a kit for an electric engine and technology supplied by Hydros. There will be two categories: One low weight like a usual dinghy and second category to optimize the shape and design of container ships and oil tankers. The school projects can go any direction they like with the project and will be ranked by the time it takes the design to traverse a specified distance. According to the original Hydroptere and current Hydros project manager, Jeremie Lagarrigue, “We want to give the technology and experience to the next generation to find an answer to sustainable energy. With increased performance of the shape of hulls, foils, and wind generators and even water generators, since water actually provides 1000 times more energy than air, sustainable energy could be used to power virtually any vessel in the world.”