Tag Archives: Francois Gabart

The Foiling Week, A Year In Review

Advancing the Community Concept for Innovation

by Christopher Museler

When the Foiling Week set up its first tents along the sparkling shoreline of Lake Garda in 2014, a small group of excitable and tweaky designers, engineers and sailors gathered to share, learn and collaborate. Once all alone in their corners of the sport and the world, this was their moment to go beyond their own visions and advance the new field of “foiling” on the water.

A mind-blowingly short time later, as 2017 comes to a close, Foiling Week is on three continents, there are more than a dozen established foiling classes and the seeds of foiling’s place beyond sailing are sprouting across the world.

Luca Rizzotti, Founder: “In 2018 we are going for the first time to exciting locations like Sydney and Miami. We look forward to connecting with the amazing Australian and American foiling communities, tap into their latest innovations and spread the know-how around the globe. Garda is also promising to be bigger than ever with many requests from new classes. Finally, we see we are growing alongside our present partners and aim at having more on board to keep the foiling community ahead of the innovation curve, plus seeking impact investments for some of our new ambitious projects.

At the heart of innovation within the foiling space, Foiling Week sits alone as a forum. But this is not an exclusive club. Forums in Europe, the United States and Australia are now opening up doors and networks that were once, by the very nature of competitive events like the America’s Cup and even geography, barriers to collaboration and development.

Cup designers once muzzled by NDAs eagerly bat around concepts with their counterparts at Foiling Week. Product developers racing to become “first-to-market” in the auto-foiling SUP space are able to explore production and distribution complications together. From the innovator to the end user, there is no doubt that this is a particular moment in foiling that transcends the sparks ignited by classes like the Moth, A Class catamaran and America’s Cup boats.

Foiling Week’s Responsibility

Following the success of the Foiling Week Newport, USA in 2016, the first forum outside of Garda, the event not only expanded to other nations, the 2017 event on that natural playground in central Italy pushed the boundaries of innovative forums into the social responsibility realm.

Though Foiling Week is not an authoritative organization, its participants are a community of new authorities on this burgeoning area of innovation. And, as the most diverse, intelligent and creative individuals in sailing, they have a resulting camaraderie and drive to improve the sport and the world through their abilities.

Core values for Foiling Week were established in 2017 after the successes of the Safety Forum in Newport. Safety, accessibility and sustainability were each given a day at this year’s Garda event.

As the sun warmed the cliffs, before the clockwork thermal breeze drifted in, the sports’ and industry’s top minds dug deep into these topics with an engaged audience. Olympic gold medalist Jo Aleh and Moth sailor Josie Gliddon, both representing the Magenta Project, lead the accessibility forum by tackling the gender issues faced with women in professional sailing. Gliddon was able to condense the concept that hydrofoiling across the range of sailing craft in the sport increases access to women. In short, with reduced loads, requiring less brute force and more technique-based skills, foiling should open doors for women. But she is quick to point out that the sailing culture lags behind these innovations and some doors are still closed.

Josie Gliddon: “To continue to talk about accessibility for all in our sport allows us to address the equality and diversity challenges we face not just for men and women. We are extremely fortunate to be in a sport where boats can be designed and adapted and I think that we can go much further in this area. Even just small changes can make a difference – putting in extra purchases / ratchet blocks or having extra people on board results in strength and psychical size becoming less of a dominant feature that in turn opens up more opportunities to more people. That can only be a good thing.”

The same forum announced design efforts to allow disabled sailors to foil and gain instruction with a Paralympic champion on hand to lend insight. Legions of tiny boys and girls also donned helmets and life jackets to safely explore this third dimension of sailing.

Sustainability, that mystical term that covers everything we need to do to save the planet, is a value Foiling Week has brought to a tangible concept. Right off the bat, the Garda event offered entry discounts to presenters and participants who carpooled to the lake. Collaborations that highlighted the outrageous inefficiencies in the use of motorboats to run regattas have led to concepts that include automated, solar-powered mark set drones.

As for safety, the Newport forum produced a collection of sailors and race management officials from around the world who, independently, had been creating race management tools and instructional interactive videos to address the growing issues that arise from boats going three- to four-times the speed of previous race craft.

On the Water

The forums now spread around the world have become synergistic moments for the greatest brains in sailing to connect and collaborate on technical and social levels. But Foiling Week has tapped into the child-like excitement these and other participants have regarding exploring and experimenting on the sea with wind and craft.

The most advanced classes in the world are attracted to each Foiling Week venue to host championships and share their progressive crafts with the world. Beyond top designers and engineers, the elite sailors of the world place Foiling Week at the top of their event wish list each year.

Glen Ashby: “For me, to walk around the boat park is absolutely fantastic.
There are so many clever people that have worked on a lot of different foiling boats and apparatus over the last few years.
For everyone to be able to walk around, share information openly and look at all the different concepts that have been built is absolutely wonderful.

Francois Gabart: “I think it is just perfect, the Foiling Week, because there is a lot happening now in the foiling world.
It’s good to mix all together.

Beyond Sailing

One would think that foiling is now established and that there is a plateau, apres’ 2017 America’s Cup, in innovation with these technologies slowing influencing recreational sailing and speeds steadying out for the professional foiling craft. But the Foiling Week has matured, and its free thinking drive for pure innovation is expanding.

Paul Larsen, one of the fastest sailors in the world having set the outright world speed record aboard Vestas SailRocket, gave Foiling Week a taste of the direction foiling can take the world. A privately funded design challenge has Larson developing a 100-foot transatlantic passenger ship that is a hybrid power/sail. “one idea is to take paying passengers across the ocean in luxury as fast as the Ultime trimaran Banque Populaire,” says Larsen.

This unique project has been combining a fabulous collection of old and new ideas. A Polynesian “proa” style set of hulls means the ship can only sail on one tack and must “shunt” to change tacks.

These fascinating terms tied to the dawn of navigation and civilization were linked by Larsen to the futuristic concept of “energy farming.” Larson says battery banks store energy generated by hydrogeneretors while the wing sailed craft reaches across through the depressions of the Atlantic then uses this stored energy to power the low-drag hulls through the glass of high pressure systems. The same ship is envisioned to double as transport for commerce, similar to cruise ships efficient use of their holds as dry docks to transport yachts across oceans.

New Ground

Now, how does the rest of the world learn about what these innovators and collaborators are working on? The Foiling Week! And although this forum has been expanding, a primary aim of the organizers is to push the boundaries of online communication by making all presentations live and archived on as many media platforms as possible. Virtual reality and interactive experiences are also imperative.

Creating more and varied partnerships into the varied spaces outside the marine industry is also a must for Foiling Week to achieve its lofty goals of connecting more spaces and innovators. BMW, Slam, Gurit, Persico Marine, Marlow, Torqeedo and Ingemar have all been rightfully supportive of getting innovators together.

The efficiencies developed by the Foiling Week community fit flawlessly with the direction innovators want to take the world. Individuals like Paul Larsen, Jo Aleh and Jossie Gliddon see an endless horizon of possibilities. So does the Foiling Week.

Des séances de tests en bonne compagnie pour François Gabart

by macifcourseaularge.com

© Alexis Courcoux / MACIF

© Alexis Courcoux / MACIF

Le M24 de François Gabart, trimaran de sport de 24 pieds  développé en 2014* en parallèle de la conception du Trimaran MACIF, était de sortie en baie de Port-La-Forêt en fin de semaine dernière. L’objectif était de tester différentes formes de foils en situation réelle sur ce petit trimaran conçu par VPLP (comme le trimaran MACIF).

Le M24 permet à François Gabart et l’équipe technique de valider des évolutions dans les différentes formes des appendices pour une optimisation à moyen et long terme du trimaran MACIF. Ce support est un outre un excellent outil d’entrainement pour le skipper.

Jeudi et vendredi derniers à Port-la-Forêt, François Gabart a pu tester sur le M24 un nouveau safran réalisé par son équipe. L’objectif est de valider la performance et la tenue de ce nouveau profil de safran dans le but de confirmer la fabrication du second. A noter que les safrans du M24 et du trimaran MACIF sont tous les deux équipés de plans porteurs.

A l’occasion de ces navigations, François Gabart avait convié Yoann Richomme (Skipper Macif 2014) et Vincent Riou, le skipper de PRB (IMOCA 60), récent vainqueur de la Transat Jacques Vabre dans sa catégorie et lui aussi vainqueur du Vendée Globe (2004) lors de la sortie de jeudi.

Sur un plan d’eau plus « musclé », François naviguait vendredi  à nouveau avec Vincent Riou, Antoine Gautier (Responsable Bureau d’études MerConcept) et Guillaume Le Brec (avec qui le skipper du trimaran MACIF avait participé aux régates d’avant-saison en Diam24 en 2015).

Les marins ont donc travaillé à la validation de ce nouvel appendice et ont profité de ces sorties sous un beau soleil d’hiver pour voler quelques instants !

L’équipe est, quant à elle, à Lorient pour avancer sur le chantier d’hiver du trimaran MACIF avec  l’objectif de retrouver le plus rapidement possible l’élément liquide pour aller voler à son tour.

*sur les bases du Diam 24, monotype utilisé sur le Tour de France à la Voile

Des foils sur un Diam 24

by letelegramme.fr

Nous avons vu un Diam 24 équipé de foils avec François Gabart, Vincent Riou et Guillaume Le Brec à bord. S’agit-il de tests en vue d’une éventuelle modification du bateau ?

Il n’y a pas de secret sur ce sujet-là. François Gabart a acheté un Diam pour s’en servir comme laboratoire pour son maxi-trimaran Macif (ndlr : qui, lui, est équipé de foils). Il s’en sert pour tester plusieurs formes de foils. Il a acheté un Diam 24 classique avec deux flotteurs supplémentaires dans le but d’effectuer des essais.

Donc, il n’y a aucun changement à l’horizon ?

Nous sommes très satisfaits du Diam 24. Je crois que, fin février-début mars, le chantier (1) va livrer sa 60e commande. Ça fonctionne très bien. Pour le reste, disons qu’on regarde François Gabart le faire voler et peut-être que le coup d’après… On ne se met aucune pression, nous n’avons aucun planning, mais on s’est dit : « Dans quelques années, peut-on avoir une version de ce bateau avec des foils ? ». On a vu que c’était une petite bombe avec des foils. Donc, ça interpelle.

Un Diam 24 volant, c’est pour demain ?

Il n’y a aucune date d’arrêtée. Cela se joue à plusieurs années. Il faudrait d’abord que ce soit économiquement viable. Une grande partie du succès du Tour et de ce bateau-là, c’est la donne économique, le fait qu’il coûte 55.000 euros. Une solution volante avec des foils et certains renforts à droite et à gauche, cela veut dire 25.000 ou 30.000 euros de plus. Je me répète, il faudrait que ce soit jouable économiquement parlant, de l’ordre de 15.000 euros de plus. Mais soyons clair, nous ne sommes pas du tout dans des phases d’essais pour le Tour de France. Il y a des marins comme François Gabart, Vincent Riou et d’autres qui s’amusent pour voir ce qu’on peut en faire. Disons qu’ils le font sous notre oeil bienveillant.

Tout le monde vole ou veut voler aujourd’hui. Le Tour de France peut-il échapper à cette tendance ?

C’est le sens de l’histoire donc il n’y a aucune raison que le Tour ne s’inscrive pas, un jour, dans cette tendance. Je ne vois pas pourquoi le Tour n’irait pas et si ça peut se faire avec le Diam 24, ça aurait du sens.

Des foils demain et une aile rigide après-demain ?

L’aile, c’est un autre sujet. C’est à la fois une problématique budgétaire et une problématique logistique. Notre format impose des montages et démontages fréquents, du transport donc cela voudrait dire une aile démontable qui se transporte rapidement. Le Tour de France n’est pas la Coupe de l’America. On leur laisse le soin de faire du développement et de la recherche. Nous, nous suivons la tendance. Mais tout cela est assez excitant.

(1) : ADH Innotec à Port-la-Forêt

© Le Télégrammehttp://www.letelegramme.fr/voile/tiens-un-diam-24-volant-18-01-2016-10924047.php

Foiling Week™ 2015 – François Gabart

Interview by Foiling Week.

Vainqueur du Vendée Globe à seulement 29 ans, François Gabart est considéré comme l’un des marins les plus doués de sa génération. Révélé sur le circuit Figaro Bénéteau II, il est devenu skipper professionnel en 2008 et porte les couleurs de la Macif depuis 2010. Il navigue aujourd’hui à bord du 60 pieds MACIF depuis 2011 à bord duquel il a récemment bouclé son premier tour du monde en solitaire sans escale.

Flying Phantom: François Gabart Takes Off

François Gabart, 2013 Vendée Globe winner and Skipper Macif, joined last week Phantom International team during a sailing session for the optimization of the Flying Phantom OD,  the world’s first production foiling catamaran.

Back in 2013, he had already begun his return to the multihulls world with participations to the Eurocat  and to the World F18 in Grosseto – Italy, on a Sail Innovation team’s  Phantom F18 with Matthieu Vandamme , finishing respectively 3rd and 4th  in these two events.

François will be leaving the IMOCA circuit after the 2014 Route du Rhum. From 2015, he will be taking the helm of a 100-foot maxi-multihull in the colours of Macif, aboard which he will tackle a series of races and solo ocean records.