A cockpit with room for two
Freshly completed by the renowned shipyard Persico Marine, the main hull will arrive in April at the SP80 premises in Renens (Switzerland). This first part reveals a crucial element of the cockpit: it can carry two pilots. One will pilot the kite while the other will steer the boat.
“Very early in our development phase, it was clear that being alone on board was not an option to safely accelerate up to 80 knots.” – specifies Benoît Gaudiot, co-founder and pilot. “At 150 km/h, it is essential to concentrate on a task! We will thus have a pilot at the controls of the kite, while a co-pilot will ensure the trajectory of the boat. However, at low speed, around 30 knots, the boat can sail alone, which will allow us to welcome passengers on board to experience something extraordinary!
At 80 knots, it is essential to ensure maximum safety for the pilots. The cockpit has been designed to withstand accelerations of up to 50G! It has also been reinforced with Kevlar to protect its occupants from possible carbon shards in the event of a crash. As a boat sailing at 150km/h on water is equivalent to a Formula 1 on land, the pilots will be equipped accordingly: bucket seats, 6-point harnesses and helmets. In case of emergency, they will also have at their disposal oxygen masks, never seen in the world of sailing!
Timeline and next steps
While the shipyard continues to build the beam and the floats, the SP80 team will take over the main hull and integrate all the mechanical systems. The final assembly of the boat is scheduled for next fall with an official launch before the end of 2022. After a few months of optimization and testing, the first record attempts will take place in the summer of 2023 in the south from France.
Guided by strong values, the company has already entered into several notable partnerships. The team is currently embarking on its final partnership search campaign. The surveys focus on Swiss brands, with the aim of creating collaborations that go beyond sponsorship deals.
“Thanks to our current partners, we have been able to deliver this revolutionary boat with a launch date later this fall.” – says Mayeul van den Broek, co-founder and project manager. “2023 will be a decisive year, with the final preparations to break the 80 knot record and make sailing history. We are currently looking for the latest financial and technical partnerships to lead the adventure to the end. The whole team is so proud to see this concept become a reality and we can’t wait to finally unveil and test our final design on the water! ”