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l’Hydroptere Makes the Bay

If you haven’t been out catching the practice sessions for the AC Worlds this week, you may have missed more than just the AC45s flitting — and flipping — around San Francisco Bay. The 60-ft French foiling tri l’Hydroptere DCNS sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge in the wee hours of Wednesday morning to spend a little time in a place where they might actually find some wind. Skipper Alain Thébault and his crew have been frustrated by a lack of the blowy stuff in L.A. as they wait for a weather window to make their attempt on the L.A.-to-Honolulu TransPac record.

l’Hydroptere DCNS decided to pop into the Bay to watch the AC World Series, and finally get to enjoy a little West Coast sailing. She’ll be moored off Corinthian YC until she returns to Long Beach for her record attempt.

© 2012 Thomas Lesage

"Deprived of wind so far in our bid to take off for Hawaii, we needed to trial the boat during a delivery spanning several days and it was the perfect moment to head up to San Francisco," said Thébault. "You can picture yourself flying under Golden Gate Bridge and it’s a bit of a childhood dream come true here. As we await the awaking of the wind god on the route to Hawaii, we’ll endeavor to create some very fine images here."

Jacques Vincent, the boat’s co-skipper, reported that the delivery north was a typical summer bash. "We left Long Beach under in very sunny conditions and almost no wind. When we entered North California, the weather changed radically with up to 30 knots of wind and tough sea conditions, we were battling upwind for two days, the boat proved again its seaworthiness." The crew spent the time testing everything onboard, including the complex technical systems, in preparation for their record assault.

During her stay on the Bay, l’Hydroptere will be hosted by Corinthian YC, but don’t expect this miracle of modern technology to hang around too long. As Vincent pointed out, "at the slightest hint of a favorable weather window to Honolulu, we’ll drop back down to position ourselves at Long Beach.”

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Shannon and Mike left Halcyon on a mooring in Zihua while they returned to the States to work.