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Hydros to tackle trio of specific challenges    
Fri, 29 Mar 2013

Team Hydros grew by leaps and bounds as an organization in 2012, but now it’s time to get serious. In the coming months, Hydros will tackle three specific challenges: the HydroCup, the HydroContest and setting new records with the 'l’Hydroptè'. This is an opportunity to take stock of things!

Located at the École Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne (EPFL), Team Hydros is continuing its development work and is in the process of implementing its vision: 'Research and Performance for a Better Environment.' The entire team is now assembled and some sailors are already training on the Mediterranean in Grande-Motte, France, to prepare for the International C-Class Championship which takes place later this year. The technical team of Hydros is also readying the 'l’Hydroptè' for new speed records on Lake Geneva. Lastly, the preparations for the global competition among technical universities, the HydroContest, is in full swing. Team Hydros has also tested out a prototype of the starter kit that student teams will receive in advance of the contest.

'L’Hydroptè', the flying laboratory ship, has left its winter quarters. Over the winter, several improvements were made in order to gain performance and stability. Stéphane Dyen, design manager and a sailor himself explains: 'We are constantly working to improve the performance of l'Hydroptè While we relentlessly fine tune how the hydrofoils operate, we’re also improving our knowledge regarding the effects of various parameters such as the size of the wings.' The design office of HDS (Hervé Devaux Structures) in Brest, France, is carrying out the structural analysis.

In the coming days, the sailors of the 'L’Hydroptè' will take aim on their main objective this season: The speed record on the route Geneva – Le Bouveret – Geneva, the Geneva 'Blue Ribbon'.

Jérémie Lagarrigue, Billy Besson and the two Dutch masters Mischa Heemskerk and Bastiaan Tentij are currently in Grande-Motte, France, in order to prepare for the International Class C Championship which will take place in Great Britain in September.

The technical team is currently working to mount the first test boat, the catamaran 'Nacra F20 Carbon'. New insights are hoped to be gained from this boat, before the final boats go into construction. These will be built by Htdros’ partners Décision SA based in Ecublens, Switzerland.

Jérémie Lagarrigue, in charge of Hydros, explains: 'We’re still in a phase of adjustment. But the initial results have been positive. The boat with the new hydrofoils is already faster than the previous model.' The rigid wings as well as the hydrofoils use TPT (Thin Ply Technology) which bring significant performance gains and have been jointly developed through a partnership between VPLP (Van Peteghem and Lauriot Prévost), HDS and Hydros.

Regardless of the performance of the two participating teams at HydrosCup in Great Britain, the next instalment of the Cup will be held at the «Société Nautique de Genève in September 2015. This week, Hydros learned that its bid for the cup was successful thanks to the professionalism and attractiveness of its proposal. The bid was won against a very strong international field.

More Information

Alongside the two projects mentioned above, Hydros has launched a worldwide competition aimed at students of technical universities, the HydroContest. The challenge students are faced with is to construct a boat that is both fast and also energy efficient thanks to the use of foils. This project is supported by the SIG, Geneva’s Industrial Services, and will inspire future architects and engineers and also raise awareness about renewable energies and environment issues.

Hydros will provide students a starter kit that they either improve or use as the basis for their own solution. The HydroContest is an innovative project that demands a lot from students: collaboration, performance and creativity. The first version of the starter kit is currently being tested. Universities will learn more about the contest in the coming weeks. The competition begins in September.

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by Bernard Schopfer

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