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SP80: the Swiss challenge to smash the current world sailing speed record in 2022

by SP80 19 Nov 10:51 GMT
SP80: the Swiss challenge to smash the current world sailing speed record in 2022 © SP80

Three young engineers from the Swiss engineering school EPFL have decided to design the fastest sailboat over a 500m track and enter sailing history.

This speed record is currently hold by Paul Larsen who achieved the average speed of 121km/h over the 500m track. To achieve their challenge, they want to use the power of usual kite wings in their SP80 project.

SP80 was born from the encounter of three engineering students passionate about sailing, kitesurfing and speed. Their goal? To break the world sailing speed record in 2022 and bring it back to Europe. This record is currently detained by the Australian Paul Larsen and his project Vestas Sailrocket 2. He achieved 65.45 knots (121.1km/h) as average speed on the 500m track.

SP80 plans to go much further by achieving 80knots (148km/h) using a boat with shaped hulls, propelled by a kite wing while the overall stability is reached thanks to super ventilating hydrofoils.

This project is support by EPFL and then follows the steps of the famous Hydroptère, which was developed in collaboration with the university from 2006 to 2009 and. Numerous teachers previously involved in either Hydroptère's or Alinghi's adventures also give their support to SP80, gathering all the ingredients needed to create great innovation and to develop new technologies.

The project was officially launched in Neuchâtel on the 25th of October 2019 during the celebration of the 20 years anniversary of its first partner, P&TS SA. Since then, SP80 continues to be present on different events.

The founders of the project will be present at the Yacht Racing Forum on the 25th and 26 of November 2019 to show their ideas to great names of the sailing world.

See sp80.ch to get an overall view of the project.

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