Engineering Students Breaking Sailing Records


New contenders are looking to break sailing records in 2022. Three engineering students from the Thales Alena Space Institute are putting their knowledge to the test in an upcoming trial on a 500m Water-Track. Currently, the record is held by Paul Larsen at a speed of 121km/h. To gain exposure, the three engineering students and their team have announced the SP80 Project. This project was born after the three met one another on campus and began discussing their love for high-speed sailing or kitesurfing. This prompted the small team to defeat Paul Larsen’s speed record by 2020 and return the title to Europe. However, beating the Vestas Sail Rocket 2 won’t be an easy accomplishment for the Thales Alena students. Engineer advancements will need to be made to go faster than 65 Knots.

These three students include Xavier Lepercq, Mayuel Vanden Broek and Benoit Gaudiot. The three publicly announced that their plans involve crafting a sailing vessel that can achieve eighty knights in five hundred metres. These students plan to accomplish this task by employing a King-Wing Extension to a boat with a uniquely shaped hull. They say this will assist with overall stability when pushing such high velocities of speed.

Supporters & Events

The SP80 project is being supported by the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Institute. This Lake Geneva-located Science and Technology Institute is considered the most elite in the European Union. Subsequently, the SP80 Project is following the footsteps of Hydroptère. This was another sailing engineering project that was developed in correlation with the Geneva Institute, with numerous professors getting involved with assist with the development. It’s anticipated that some of those same teachers will return for the SP80 project, creating innovations in sailing technology. Prior innovations from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Institute have helped sailing vessels of all categories with their consumption and speed. This includes Cargo Ships and Cruise Liners.

The SP80 Project was privately announced to the sailing community at Neuchâtel on October 25th, 2019. This event celebrates the past twenty years of innovation. Since then, the public announcement has been made, with the three engineering students displaying their plans at various events. The SP80 project and its founders will appear next at the Yacht Racing Forum on the 25th and 26th of November 2019. Prominent figures in the sailing world appear at this yearly forum and will potentially allow the founders to attract new investors.