It was blowing at 35 to 38 knots when the fastest offshore sailing vessel in the world left Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône near Marseille to break the absolute world speed record.
Skipper and project manager Alain Thébault and his crew had waited a few days for the storm to subside from the north. But when he got out on the water, he had to deal with 45 knots of gusts.
The wing tri tips forward over the bow.
It happened on the first run of the day. The speed of the hydrofoil trimaran quickly reached the 50 knot mark. Then 55 and finally a sensational 61 knots top speed. A speed never reached by a sailing vehicle. However, there is little time to celebrate. Because the 45 knot gust, which was responsible for the extreme acceleration, capsized the ship before the 500 meters distance necessary for a record had been covered
Some crew members suffered minor injuries in the violent rollover. And the ship is clearly damaged. But the team's joy is great given the potential their construction has shown.
The trimaran was towed to Fos sur Mer before repairs begin.
The rescue team arrives
A few weeks ago, “Hydroptère” set its own D-Class record over 500 meters to 46.88 knots.