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Hydroptère 2.jpg
Experimental sailing craft Hydroptère
Designer(s)Alain Thébault and VPLP design

Hydroptère is an experimental sailing hydrofoil trimaran designed by French yachtsman Alain Thébault and VPLP design[1][better source needed][2]. Its multihull hydrofoil design allows the sail-powered vessel to reach high speeds on water. The design is based on experience from a range of hydrofoil sailcraft that Thébault built in cooperation with Éric Tabarly since the 1990s. On 5 October 2008 she reached a record speed of 52.86 knots (97.90 km/h; 60.83 mph), however this was over a shorter distance than the 500m necessary to qualify for an official world record.[3] On 21 December 2008, the Hydroptère briefly reached 56.3 knots (104.3 km/h; 64.8 mph)[4] near Fos-sur-Mer, but capsized and turtled shortly thereafter.[5][6]

Launching Hydroptère

On 4 September 2009, the Hydroptère broke the outright world record, sustaining a speed of 52.86 knots (97.90 km/h; 60.83 mph) for 500 m (1,600 ft) in 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph) of wind.[7] In November 2009, she broke the 50-knot (93 km/h; 58 mph) barrier for a nautical mile with a speed of 50.17 knots (92.91 km/h; 57.73 mph) in Hyères, France.[8]


During July 2015, the Hydroptère sailed 2215 nautical miles from Los Angeles to Honolulu and docked in Kewalo Harbor.[9] On March 15, 2016 the Harbor Master posted an "Abandoned Vessel" notice on the Hydroptère[10] which was subsequently sold.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ VPLP design#Experimental
  2. ^ https://vplp.fr/realisation/hydroptere/58.html
  3. ^ Matthew, Campbell (12 November 2008). "Flying yacht in battle to crack 50-knot barrier". The Times. London. (Subscription required (help)).
  4. ^ Though it was first announced that the ship reached 61 kn: "Pointe de l'Hydroptère à 61 noeuds". YouTube (in French).
  5. ^ "Les données officielles ont été récupérées". L'Hydroptère (in French). 14 January 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-10-08.
  6. ^ "Hydroptere: 61 knots and huge crash with 35-38 knots, gusts over 45". Catamaran Racing. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  7. ^ "WSSR Newsletter No 177. Hydroptere World Records. 23/09/09". Sail Speed Records. World Sailing Speed Record Council. 23 September 2009.
  8. ^ "Nautical Mile Records". Sail Speed Records. World Sailing Speed Record Council. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Finesse Sponsored Hydroptère Arrives in Honolulu".
  10. ^ "Sailing Anarchy Forum post: Hydroptere abandoned - Available for $20,000".
  11. ^ L'Hydroptère sold

External links[edit]