Monthly Archives: May 2015

Solent Whisper

From Royal Southampton Yacht Club

Royal Southampton honorary member, and Southampton Solent University graduate Geoff Holt, the first quadriplegic sailor to sail solo across the Atlantic, unveiled the University’s latest technological development – an innovation which it claims could change the face of small boat inshore racing.

This year’s PSP Southampton Boat Show will give the industry its first real look at ‘Solent Whisper’ – a 5.9m sailing catamaran with a cutting-edge hydrofoil system.

Designed and built using the state-of the-art yacht design and engineering facilities at Solent’s Warsash Maritime Academy and city-centre campus, the catamaran’s technology has already attracted attention from world-class sailors during sea trials this summer.

The revolutionary new hydrofoil system provides stability, ease and safety, which along with an affordable projected purchase price, has the potential to offer America’s Cup-style sailing to the masses. The craft’s easy and stable sailing style also mean it could prove popular and accessible for disabled sailors.

Primarily designed with ease and safety in mind, Solent Whisper has also exceeded expectations on the speed front. It comfortably achieves over 25 knots and it can ‘fly’ on its foils in as little as five knots of wind.

The new hydrofoil technology is the brainchild of Ron Price, a Solent yacht and powercraft design graduate who is now Senior Lecturer in Naval Architecture at the University’s Warsash Maritime Academy.

The prototype is the result of months of hard work made possible by the technical experience, support and skills from colleagues across the University and the state-of-the-art facilities at both the engineering workshop at the maritime academy and the composites lab at Solent.

“I was very fortunate to have access to the incredible skill and knowledge of the engineering technicians, the support of staff, and use of the superb facilities at the University,” says Ron.”

It is hoped that a retail production version will be available for the London Boat Show in January 2015.

“We are engineering the boat in a way that the design is smart enough to keep the production costs low,” he says.

“I’m hoping that my design ideas will make inshore and small boat racing more accessible and affordable for the average club racer, those who sail for pleasure and people with disabilities,” adds Ron.

Southampton Solent University has a reputation for leading the world in maritime education and technology, and Ron is one of a long line of design graduates who continue to shape the world of sailing including: Jason Ker, working on Sir Ben Ainslie’s GB America’s Cup bid; Guillame Verdier, who designed the yachts that came both first and second at 2012 Vendee Globe; German Frers Jr; Bill Dixon; Ed Dubois; Rob Humphreys; and Juan Kouyoumdjian.
On the sailing-side world-class Solent alumni include: Helena Lucas, who won Great Britain’s first ever sailing gold at the 2012 Paralympics; Paul Goodison who took gold at the 2008 Olympics; and Herve Piveteau who sailed to victory in the Production Boat Class at the Mini Transat 2008, the French equivalent of the OSTAR.

The designer, Ron Price trained at Sandhurst as an Officer Cadet and then spent seven years in the in the Armed forces, before starting his degree in Yacht Production and Design at Southampton Solent University – alongside Paralympic sailing gold medallist Helena Lucas. Following graduation he started his marine engineering career at Rockport Engineering where he was responsible for Design Systems and Composite Engineering. Ron returned to the University as a lecturer on the Yacht Production degree courses, before moving over to Warsash Maritime Academy as a senior lecturer in Naval Architecture, where he currently teaches.

Solent Whisper Quick Facts

What is it that makes this boat special?

The innovative hydrofoil technology makes the boat simple, stable but still fast – you do not need to be a sailing ‘rock star’ to experience performance sailing.

What makes it so stable?

She has an active ride height control which sets the height above the water that each hull flies at.

Why is it so easy to sail?

As she is light the boat is very responsive, with low sheet loads. This combined with the ride height control – acting on both hulls, makes the boat very stable

How does it perform compared with say, a moth or a 49er?

It is substantially faster than a 49er. At present it is not able to match the speed of a moth upwind, but we are working on this. Right now the moth is still very much the benchmark but we are getting close, with the plan being to equal if not exceed the performance of a moth.

Who do you see racing this boat?

It’s a boat for the average club racer and above. The boat is easy to sail in its stable mode, but at the top level expert sailors will be able to tweak the foil set-up to sail the boat more effectively.

What kind of price point do you envisage?

Around £15k

How and where were the hydrofoils designed?

The hydrofoils were designed using Southampton Solent University software.

Where was the boat built?

The boat was built primarily at the University’s Warsash Maritime Academy. The foils were made in the composites lab at Southampton Solent’s city campus.

What sea trials has it been through, and what were the results?

Initial tests were carried out in light winds and flat water, but as we have learnt more we have increased both the wind speed and sea state conditions. The boat has exceeded expectations at each www.
During testing the boat was deliberately allowed to lift out of the water, fall off the foils and launch off a wave, to allow the foil to clear the surface. Like the Americas Cup boats we are making foiling gybes and tacks.

What is the top speed it has achieved?

The boat comfortably achieves over 25 knots.

What are the lightest winds it can foil in?

Take off can be achieved in as little as 5 knots, but with winds of 6 to 8 knots the boat flies comfortably and at speed.

What is the next www of development for the boat?

There are two elements to the development; The University is funding a research project looking at the development of hydrofoils, and at the same time a production boat is being developed to take advantage of ‘smart’ engineering techniques. This will enable the boat to be manufactured in the UK, whilst still keeping the final costs comparable to that of conventional catamarans

When will the boat be available on the market?

The plan is to have a production version available for the London Boat Show in January (2015 NDR).

Artemis Racing launches AC45 Turbo in Bermuda


Artemis Racing became the first America’s Cup challenger to launch its AC45 development catamaran in Bermuda this week. The Swedish team’s wing-sail foiling AC45 Turbo began sea trials in the Great Sound on Tuesday after being launched from its new temporary base at the Royal Naval Dockyard.

The first two days of sailing provided a real insight into what the team can expect ahead of America’s Cup World Series Bermuda this October, and the finals of the 35th America’s Cup in 2017.

Team Manager Iain Percy said “We were really just out there exploring the course on day one and checking the equipment after it’s journey from San Francisco. Over the last few days we’ve learnt that it is a tricky venue, it’s really shifty and gusty, and further to that, it’s tight. You need to understand the charts, where the rocks are, where you can and can’t go. There will be lots of tacks and gybes, the crew will be working incredibly hard getting the boat through the transitions. It’s certainly going to be a sailors race, which will be great for everyone watching and certainly plays to our strengths”.

Read more here

Eagle 20HF reachs 36.8 knots

From By Martin Vanzulli

Eagle 20 HF Foils

When I told you a new Formula Foiling Class was coming it was no joke or wishful thinking.
Although getting airborne and even final speed does not grant you the meanings to win Course of Long Distance races (Hydroptere, White Dragons, Stunt9 etc) as we’ve been preaching for long time with the new era of beachcat foilers , this is really an impressive nr from the new Eagle 20HF

Above T wing setup being used at the speed session.
The Flying Phantom was the first efficient foiling racing beachcat then followed by the Nacra F20.

Now If this Eagle HF20 system a la Kite/Windsurf foiling kit can be refined to match FP/ Nacra F20 pointing abilities we will see a new paradigm in foil design.
At least it has demonstrated, based on reports, that without a complicated Hydroptere foiling kit it has achieved maybe a speed record for small cats.

What was again the speed achieved by the Moth some time ago?? And this is quite near the GC32s one too.

The Eagle 20HF has reached 36.8knots as reported by the yard through Michael Ehlers.
“Hi Martin
In Germany finally the sailing season started and the conditions improved.
Here an update regarding the 20 HF:
“36.8 knots / 68.15 km/h!….. “Is this a new record for 18-20foot double trapeze multihulls?”
May, 16th. 2015, Altmühlsee, Germany, wind velocity 25 knots, EAGLE 20 HF, half wind, NO Spi, just the regular jib – 5-sqms…
Congratulations to helmsman Timo Späth and EAGLE´s Mastermind Heiner Wolfshoefer…


Ehlers Media
Kommunikation | Medien | Design
info (at)

Here the original post

ink about foiling by the builders of the “Disco Volante” used in James Bond’s movie Thunderball


Thanks to the Americas Cup and the associated media exposure, it seems that ,at last, the world of leisure boats and yachting is ready to start considering hydrofoil technology as a viable technology. We could not be happier as the Rodriquez family pioneered hydrofoils more than 65 years ago (see History). Indeed, in 1951 when Carlo Rodriquez was building the first commercial hydrofoil for passenger transportation purposes no marine transportation company was farsighted enough to see the future which was being written. Carlo, had to start his own high speed transportation company(SNAV) to prove to his shipyard’s prospective clients that hydrofoils were not a dream but a solid reality. The company was SNAV (Società Navigazione Alta Velocità) and it was effectively raising the bar by an average 20-25 knots in every-day marine passenger transportation.

Read the entire post on

Oracle Team Usa flies in Bermuda


ORACLE TEAM USA became the first America’s Cup team to sail an AC45S boat on the Great Sound in Bermuda.

On Monday, the defending champion of the America’s Cup launched its training boat for the first time and put in over two hours of testing on the future race course of the America’s Cup.

“It’s a real statement to be the first ones out there on the 45-footer and to get a feel for the race course on a boat of this size,” Spithill said. “It can only help to give us an advantage as we come into the race period.”

Read the full story here

C-Fly – 4 x 4 All Terrain Sailing

C-FLY Coastal was launched in 2005 to prove the layout and unique technology of the C-FLY concept. The craft is a 7.6m long catamaran designed to be practical to transport on a road trailer, assemble and sail with three crew. The beam is 5m across the hulls and 8m with the main hydrofoils deployed.

As well as the unique hydrofoil technology, she has pioneered a number of innovative concepts for the hydrofoil lowering and retraction mechanisms, the steering, and the crossbeam layout which includes a central fore and aft beam to stay the rig.

C-FLY Coastal has been used for an extensive programme of sailing trials to further advance and refine the concept as well as hone the practical skills required to sail such a radical craft.

C-FLY Coastal has delivered exhilarating performance and confirmed to the engineering team that the design has achieved the key objectives of stability in open seas, practicality and versatility, combined with breathtaking speed. The confidence gained through this programme takes C-FLY technology to the point of scaling up to the ocean version and application into other areas of high performance sailing.

More about C-Fly

The Fastest Woman On Water

hanna white
In 2015, Hannah White will attempt to make history. In a purpose-built, state of the art machine, Hannah aims to not only break the women’s speed record over one nautical mile, but become the first woman to ever set that record above the 40 knot barrier.

To achieve this, Project Speedbird will bring together technological and engineering innovation with Hannah’s determination and physical ability. Every aspect will require intense training and optimisation. Every element pushed to peak performance. The question will be answered: how fast can she go?

The Boat

hanna white's boat

The design of Project Speedbird will herald a new era in speed sailing, where high tech art meets the science of speed.

A specialist team of the world’s best boat designers, engineers and builders will produce a purpose-built speed machine using the latest technological advances developed by F1, the America’s Cup and Moto GP teams.

The 6 metre boat will be designed to maximise performance over a short, straight distance. The hull will be incredibly light – weighing just 8kg – providing an exceptional power to weight ratio. An advanced, carbon composite foil will lift the aerodynamically (not hydrodynamically) designed hull one metre out of the water. Project Speedbird will literally fly over the water.

More about Hannah’s project

Eurocat 2015: The première for the Flying Phantom Series

Pierrick Contin

The Eurocat is one of Europe’s biggest gatherings of racing catamarans. This year, it was also the first event for the Flying Phantom catamarans: The Flying Phantom Series – Eurocat 2015. Whereas the weather conditions were tough during the three days of racing, the race committee managed to launch 6 races for the Flying Phantom Fleet. Out of the fifteen or so Flying Phantoms initially planning to race, seven boats registered.

Among the participants, Franck Cammas was sailing the Team Momentys Flying Phantom with Antoine Joubert. Franck is not a stranger to the Flying Phantom due to the fact he was involved in the program during the research and development phase. Franck was keen to take part in this first event in spite of his very busy agenda that includes his Olympic campaign, C-Class- Catamaran and AC45 racing in the America’s Cup World Series. Sébastien Rogues was crewed by Benjamin Lamotte and was eager to increase his knowledge of multihulls and flying boats as this will be his main activity in 2015. And finally a couple of amateur sailors with crews completed by the Phantom Sailing team of Billy Besson – Matthieu Vandame and Gurvan Bontemps – Benjamin Amiot.

Day 1

On the first race day of the Eurocat, three races were completed. Under a cloudy sky with 15 knots of wind with gusts above 20 knots, the race committee decided to choose a standard upwind-downwind race course instead of the reaching start and finish format. The first race was an opportunity to gauge themselves and to adjust the strategies sailing mostly upwind where they had to choose between skimming versus flying mode. Franck Cammas and Team Momentys took victory in this first race after leading on every leg leg. Unfortunately for Billy Besson and Matthieu Vadame, they were not able to finish the second race and take the start of the third one following a mechanical problem. Race 2 and 3 were won by the duo Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot after intensive battles with Team Momentys.

Day 2

The weather in the morning of day 2 was not very favorable with a southerly wind blowing at 19 to 25 knots with gusts up to 34 knots. Given these poor conditions, the race director decided not to run the long distance race.

Day 3

For the final day of racing, the weather was much milder than the previous day in Carnac. In the morning the wind was blowing at 20 knots, settling down to 17 knots. After a brief wait ashore, the competitors sailed to the race area for the last 3 races of the event. The showdown between the top three teams was really impressive with a lot of lead changes and tactical battles upwind and downwind. In this contest, Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot were the most consistent in their results and with their experience of the Flying Phantom they managed to win 1 of the three races enabling them to achieve overall victory. Billy Besson and Matthieu Vandame won the other 2 races.


The Flying Phantom Series Eurocat 2015 event was a complete success and was particularly well organized by the Yacht Club de Carnac and thanks to the excellent professionalism of the race committee. This event was a brilliant demonstration of the concept of one design Flying Phantom regattas and paves the way for the future legs in the circuit.

Gurvan Bontemps, winner of the Flying Phantom Series Eurocat 2015 with Benjamin Amiot
“I’m super happy with the competition. We finish in the sunshine after 3 days of difficult weather. We were all a little bit cautious as it was the first ever flying sports catamaran regatta. We discovered in racing conditions the different sailing modes upwind between skimming, flying and VMG optimization and that was very instructive. The level was pretty high with Billy and Franck, who are world class sailors sailing the Olympic catamaran, reinforcing the challenge and the competition out on the water. All crews had the opportunity to ramp up their knowledge of the Flying Phantom, the manoeuvres and speed … It is just fantastic to cross each other and be able to race in contact in full flying mode. I’m glad to see the result of the work carried out over the last 2 years on the Flying Phantom and looking forward the next races with more boats.”

Alex Udin
“It is great to have our first fleet event. Last year we had only one boat racing. What a success now to have so many boats out on the water. Unfortunately the weather was not easy, as it was hard for the sailors with a lot of wind and rain, but the result is just amazing with six races completed.
It was fantastic to see the confrontation between the experience of Gurvan Bontemps, the talent of Billy Besson and the competitive spirit of Franck Cammas.
Having big names from the sailing world racing this week-end was important, but the great mix is also to have professional sailors and amateur sailors: this is very important for us. A good balance of both categories will ensure the success of the series.
The Eurocat is the first event of the Flying Phantom Series this year. This was also the first real one design fleet race with foiling sports catamarans. Several events will follow in Europe starting with the Round Texel race in early June, Geneva in Switzerland for another One Design event and then back to France for the Raid Emeraude, a long distance race event in St. Lunaire. These will be followed by a few more events before the end of the season. It will be awesome to continue to see these sailors sailing all together on the same boat with the One Design spirit.”

Flying Phantom Series Eurocat 2015 ranking: 6 races with 1 discarded

Ranking Team Helmsman Crew Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6
1 FRA 4 Phantom Gurvan Bontemps Benjamin Amiot 2 1 1 2 1 2
2 FRA 8 Momentys Franck Cammas Antoine Joubert 1 2 2 3 3 3
3 FRA 1 Phantom Billy Besson Matthieu Vandame 3 DNF DNS 1 2 1
4 FRA 9 Zebra Sebastien Rogues Benjamin Lamotte 4 4 3 4 4 DNF
5 FRA 777 Bruno Marais Laurent Barthelemy DNF 3 4 5 5 4
FRA 7 Jean-Louis Lemoulec Pierre-Etienne Beyssac DNS DNS DNS DNC DNC DNC
GER 2 Sven Klingenberg Stephan Rumpf DNS DNS DNS DNC DNC DNC