Here comes l’Hydroptere

Photo by Kimball Livingston

I dunno just how my America’s Cup friends will feel about it, but the real fastest sailboat in the world will soon be ripping up San Francisco Bay.

That would be l’Hydroptere DCNS, subject of some of our favorite recent posts.

At just about 1100 Friday, Alain Thébault and company departed the pier in front of Gladstone’s Long Beach and headed up the California coast. Yeah, yeah, we know we’ve been telling you they were set for their first blue water record attempt, Los Angeles-Honolulu, and that was Plan A. Unfortunately, Plan A evaporated along with the weather window for a Pacific routing, and the boys are looking for a different playground. They had already talked about bringing the beast to the bay, after Honolulu. This just rearranges the cards. Their latest line is that they’re “taking a few days off” from their hunt for a weather window, but they’re getting farther and farther from any likelihood, too.

Changement, as they say in France.

They asked me to be quiet about it while they had a private conversation with the powers that be in the America’s Cup World Series sphere, and I don’t know that state of play, but jeez, more sizzle is more pop. This is going to be cool.

They’ll be docking, ah, somewhere. I’ve heard Alameda. I’ve heard Marin. I guess we just don’t know. But with something like 13 feet of draft, it can’t be just anywhere. And while we’re talking numbers, think 60 feet long and 79 feet wide.

Basically, l’Hydroptere DCNS doubles the breeze. Just reef and go. My two earlier posts are Inside l’Hydroptere and The Water Wing. Get your fast on—Kimball

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