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L’Hydroptere Poised to Pounce

Sailing and flying are normally considered to be two totally different modes of travel, but not in the case of the revolutionary l’Hydroptere DCNS, which is currently poised to challenge the L.A. to Honolulu speed record.

The picture says it all: This boat can fly.

© 2012 Francis Demange / l’Hydroptere

Regarded as the fastest sailboat in the world, the unique "flying trimaran" was launched Tuesday in San Pedro after a week of upgrading and fine-tuning. She now lies at Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, where she is visible from shore — no doubt many passing sight-seers will scratch their heads at the sight of her, as this so-called "flying fish" is substantially different from any other sailing craft.

The record she will try to better is that set in November, 2005 by Olivier de Kersauson and crew aboard the trimaran Geronimo. Amazingly, they covered the 2,215 miles from L.A. (Pt. Fermin light) to Honolulu (Diamond Head light) in 4 days, 19 hours and 31 minutes — averaging 19.17 knots.

Ready for a wild ride, the crew (left to right) are Jacques vincent, Jean Le Cam, Yves Parlier, Alain Thebault and Luc Alphan.

© 2012 Francis Demange / l’Hydroptere

Needless to say, having an ideal weather window is essential to break such an astounding record, so the team — Alain Thébault, Jean le Cam, Jacques Vincent, Yves Parlier and Luc Alphand — is currently poised to pounce, as soon as appropriate conditions develop. That may happen within the next few days, so stay tuned for updates.

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