Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back to the drawing board

Photo credits : Loris Von Siebenthal
Alterations under way for the SYZ & CO hydrofoil catamaran

Geneva, 27 May 2009 – Since her maiden flight at the beginning of April, the SYZ & CO hydrofoil catamaran went through an intensive training campaign that has permitted to validate her capacity to fly and has demonstrated the boat’s huge speed potential. At the end of this first test phase, the project team has identified, together with the architects and engineers, several possible alterations to improve her performance and has decided to take the boat out of the water in order to optimize it in time for the record season.

For nearly two months, the team of the SYZ & CO hydrofoil catamaran has multiplied the trial runs in different weather conditions and has accumulated massive amounts of data with the onboard recorders. This initial phase has allowed to measure the stress imposed on the different parts and above all to validate the foil concept. Not only does the boat react very soundly when flying, but the team has managed to achieve some bursts of speed which demonstrate her capacity to beat the different speed records on Lake Geneva. Another reason of satisfaction: all the foil-tuning and mast-tilting hydraulic systems function to perfection.

The analysis of all the gathered data and the surveys performed by the architects and engineers have also pinpointed several modifications that could increase the boat’s performance, particularly in Archimedean mode with light winds. Moreover, the stress sustained by the structure turned out to be less important than expected, allowing for further weight reductions.

As wind conditions during the summer months tend to be fairly light and therefore not favorable to pure speed, the team has preferred to implement these alterations immediately. The boat has thus been taken out of the water yesterday and brought back to the shipyard in order to quickly start working on the changes and optimize her performance in view of the record season at the end of the summer.

Besides maximum speed, these evolutions will make the hydrofoil catamaran fully competitive in light wind regattas.

«Naturally we are disappointed not to take part in this year’s Bol d’Or Mirabaud on board the SYZ & CO hydrofoil catamaran, but this was an eventuality for which we were prepared, given the complexity of the project » explains Alex Schneiter. « We had to start work as soon as possible in order to launch our quest for new speed records by the end of the summer.

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