Monthly Archives: June 2015

Foiling outlaw

Why the rule 8 is a problem? Because you can’t retrofitting a 1998 A-Class into a foiler and then go to race. You will have a lot of fun but you can’t race.


The theory and main goal behind the US A-Class Fleet bid to remove Rule 8 is to retrofit older boats without much investment. French sailor Bob Fischer has trasnformed the concept into a reality adapting a Bimare 1998 with L/J foils. He achieved excellent results as seen in video below. Launching issues remain (new solutions will arise) and we’re still to see how efficient this setup can become on the racing course.

Nevertheless one thing has been proven with his project: Giving new life to A-Cats that wouldn´t have much chances of sailing or racing again is now possible.
+10yrs old boats can be put back on the water for not much, and if you have / find an older solid platform, a good refined set of foils might convert that older & discarded A-Cat in a fully updated racing weapon.
Beyond racing, Bob is having lots of fun with his 98 Bimare without investing 26k Euros on the latest A-Class version…
Congrats to Bob Fischer on this project.

More on

the Q23 does fly, no doubt

Eric Monnin had some fun on the Q23 yesterday.
His comment coming back after two hours:

“Some years ago, the concept of the Quant 28 surprized me in many aspects, like performance and simplicity.

Now, the concept was pushed to the extreme, to form a foiling monohull, with again surprizing qualities. The stability of the boat increases dramatically with speed, making foiling safe and easy.”

Time to fly for Extreme Sailing Series™

From ExtremeSailingSeries

Extreme Sailing Series™ organisers OC Sport have today ushered in a new era for the original Stadium Racing global circuit, with the announcement of a new generation of foiling catamarans to be used as part of the event in the future.

A panel of the world’s top international sailors and sailing experts gathered at Act 4 of the 2015 global tour in Cardiff, Wales, to discuss the initial concept with OC Sport, and ultimately to have their say on what they want from a new design of boat.

Watch the video for a unique insight from OC Sport Executive Chairman Mark Turner, OC Sport Technical Manager Neil Graham, co-creator of the Extreme 40 Mitch Booth and former Extreme Sailing Series champion Chris Draper.

William Sunnuck & M20 Vampire Project will be at Foiling Week


photo courtesy Tim Bees

photo courtesy Tim Bees

CSN. How do you tack & gybe in waves with the M20 foil setup?
William Sunnucks: So far waves haven’t been a problem. We fly above small ones, and the bow mounted wand gives the main foil plenty of time to respond to bigger ones. I was delighted by the way the boat rose up the back of the waves at Texel when a non-foiling boat would have nose dived.

However tacking and gybing has been a problem, and its still slow. As with the Nacras and Phantoms we have to pull down one foil and raise the other. We drop the windward foil, turn sharply then haul up the new windward one as fast as we can. The foils are held down by a clip mechanism controlled by a release rope at deck level.

Q. Which is the final speed achieved so far?
A. We regularly see 30 knots downwind with two sails and we know that it has more to give. In light winds we use a spinnaker which (despite being super flat) is lower but slower – no more than 22 knots. Upwind we target 18 knots, bearing off when its less and heading up when its more. We have learnt that its not the top speed that matters – its consistency.

Q. What happened at Carnac?
A. At Carnac we raced among lobster pots. We caught one at speed which overloaded the rig, breaking our mast. Infuriating.

Q. Account for this year Texel?
A. We were delighted with our performance during the first half of the Texel Race. We started cautiously, but quickly learnt to trust the wand in the large rolling waves. We led at the lighthouse feeling comfortably faster than the boats around. The leading boats arrived at the VC mark early, at least an hour before high water and we knew it would be shallow. So we stopped (still in the lead) to insert conventional straight daggerboards and to raise our rudders. Unfortunately one of the rudders slipped down and tore off when we grounded a few yards from the VC mark. Game over.

Q. Who has been involved in the R&D?
A. The concept was mine, but the foil design comes from Kevin Ellway and the implementation from Graham Eeles. Without those two it would be just a pipe dream. Many others have given valuable advice and support – I won’t list them but I’m grateful. We run it as an “open source” project with no secrets or commercial axes to grind, and I feel that this brings out the best in the sailing community.

Please understand that this is a major project for a small team with no commercial backup. There are a lot of new features which still need optimising – I don’t think the learning curve will flatten until next year at the earliest. I’m now confident that that there is a viable alternative to L foils and I will measure success by the number of people who copy it.

Q:Do you think the Pivotal systems has a future?
Yes I think the gull wing system, or pivot system as you call it, has a future. Good points:

– It pivots from the gunwale, utilising every bit of beam for righting moment.
– You don’t have to detach the wand control mechanism when you pull it up. This would be a problem for conventional daggerboards with wings on the bottom
– It enables you to raise the whole foil out of the water in pre-foiling winds, reducing wetted surface area.
– Its easy to rig and launch from a beach because you don’t have to insert the foils from under the hull

Unfortunately there are bad points too: getting it up and down is slow. In particular you have to gybe perfectly otherwise it won’t click down on its own. There is definitely scope for improving the control lines and sailing techniques.

Another problem is that it doesn’t fit easily with maximum beam rules. The C Class people made it clear that they will measure beam with both foils horizontal even though the boat is never sailed with them in that position. This effectively outlaws gull wings from the C Class. In time rule makers will probably define beam in terms of parts that contribute to righting moment.

Despite all this I think the idea has legs and I hope to see others taking it further.”

Waiting TFW Long Distance II. The official release


De très belles images de Nicolas Raffi pour résumer la 1ère étape du GDF SUEZ Energies France kite tour,championnat de France de speed crossing qui s’est déroulée du 30 Avril au 3 Mai à l’Almanarre (83).
101 compétiteurs inscrits sur différents supports, twin tip surf race ou foil. Le niveau technique des riders a réellement augmenté depuis la saison passée et cela promet de belles bataille pour la seconde étape à Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone du 23 au 25 Mai.

Next show at TFW Long distance

Foiling Docking II – the kitefoil version

by Kitefoil Australia

Racing was called off ofr the day at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Weymouth. The perfect opportunity for light wind expert Florian Gruber from Germany to demonstrate some kitefoiling action on his KFA MK3 foil, Temavento board and Ozone R1 17m kite in 4knots in the marina. Super smooth foiling gybes in almost no wind and mirror glassy water.

Parrot MiniDrones – Hydrofoil

By Parrot

Parrot has already invaded the skies with its drones. Now, it’s now ready to sail the ocean blue.

Parrot has unveiled a slew of new drones designed to work at night, carry small items and cruise on water.

The Hydrofoil is the company’s first drone that combines a MiniDrone with, well, a hydrofoil — a structure that lifts a boat above the water. Once the MiniDrone is securely attached, it can be rotated 90 degrees upward to become a four-bladed propeller for water operation.

Like all of Parrot’s drones, the Hydrofoil is controlled via Bluetooth with a smartphone app. It can cruise at a maximum speed of 6.2 miles per hour on water for up to seven minutes; the MiniDrone itself can fly at up to 11.18 mph for up to nine minutes when detached from the boat half.

An onboard camera can take snapshots at 640 x 480 (VGA) resolution and save it to the 1GB of internal storage.

The Hydrofoil will come in two different finishes and cost about €169 (about $190) when it launches in July.

Quant23: The Foiling Keelboat



Designer Hugh Welbourn has spent more than 10 years developing the patented Dynamic Stability System (DSS), which comprises a retractable hydrofoil that is deployed to leeward on a yacht.

The foil provides vertical lift to leeward, improving the yacht’s righting moment, an effect similar to having extra crew on the weather rail or a bigger keel bulb, and in turn dramatically increases performance.

DSS foils feature on a wide range of racing yachts such as multiple Rolex Sydney Hobart winner, Wild Oats XI, to the high performance Infiniti range of racers and cruiser races to sportsboats, Minis plus all manner of craft between.

However the very latest DSS foils not only provide righting moment, but extra vertical lift beneath the boat too.

In its first preliminary sea trials in Cowes last week, the Quant23 has proved itself to be one of its first – if not THE first – fully foiling keel boat. The DSS foils, in combination with a T-foil rudder, has enabled the Quant23 to sail fully airborne.

The Quant23 is the first yacht to have the new foils fitted and is the latest in the range of DSS-equipped sports boats designed by Hugh Welbourn for QuantBoats, following on from the Swiss company’s Quant28 and Quant30.

“Having spent many hours sailing a DSS boat, there are lots of other positive side aspects DSS delivers, some of which made me dream of other possibilities for it, such as flying,” QuantBoats’ Michael Aeppli explains. “Those who have sailed the Quant28 could feel that the boat came close, although this wasn’t what it was designed to do.”

Last week in Cowes, Aeppli and Welbourn’s expectations were fulfilled when daylight appeared beneath the hull of the newly launched Quant23 during preliminary sea trials.

While the Quant23 is a foiler (albeit with a fixed keel), Welbourn is at pains to point out that she is otherwise fundamentally different to a Moth or the latest America’s Cup catamarans. While those boats demand athleticism, great skill and technique to sail, the Quant23 is more mainstream. “The idea is simply a boat that anyone can leap into and ten minutes later they’re flying.”

“With the Quant23 the aim was not to create the world’s fastest foiler, but one of the easiest crafts to fly steadily, providing fun, fast rides, in a wide range of conditions,” Aeppli confirms. “For us this means that the boat shall do 90% of the work and not the crew – mostly this seems to be the other way round with many of the other foiling boats of today, with complicated systems to manage, understand and maintain all the time.”

Part of the secret lies in the inherent stability of the new DSS foils, compared to that of the inverted T-configuration foils of, for example, a Moth. The new foils, Welbourn maintains, help promote ‘easy foiling’ with the section, aspect ratio and length of the foil promoting early lift-off (i.e. full foiling in the least amount of wind) rather than ultimate top speed, which would require smaller foils with a less powerful section.

“It’s about finding the best balance between things that allows to you to fly three crew plus a boat with a 60kg bulb – a flying keelboat – without any great drama,” says Welbourn. He adds that the new generation DSS foil should be scalable, although at the end of the day physics comes into play.

While foiling ability may be the Quant23 sportsboat’s USP, it also has a futuristic-looking, ultra-low freeboard scow hull – blunt bowed, carrying its hull volume all the way forward and complete with chines and chamfered hull-deck join. The powerful, stable hull shape, Welbourn maintains, prevents the need for racks and such like, making the boat simple both to build and sail. And you don’t even need to shift crew weight fore and aft to alter the pitch of the foil: “We’ve previously seen that you really don’t have to move around at all actually.”

In terms of her ultimate performance, Welbourn believes that the Quant23 will be comfortably reaching in the mid-20s. Most impressive is her foiling ability which will see her foiling upwind in as little as 10 knots. “From day one we aimed at having an uphill mode, in not a lot of wind, but that’s another reason why the foils are so big.”

The first Quant23 is a prototype to be used for R&D prior to the boat going into full production. It is currently undergoing trials in Switzerland.