A world record breaking boat
Benoit Gaudio and two other partners designed a boat to beat the world record for sailing speed. They chose Leukat to carry out this important task, which will take place in 2024.
It looks like a Formula 1 car, but it floats on waves. The SP80 is an unusual vessel. Painted in black and red, it was built by three people, including Benoit Gaudio, 25 years old and the founder who is one of the pilots of this boat. The goal: to break the world record for absolute sailing speed and reach 80 knots or 150 km/h in a race over 500 meters. As a destination of choice, it is not only near the beaches of Leukat. “It was clear to us. It’s perfect for a test like this.”– smiled the young man. Benoit knows these hills well, he was a junior kitesurfing champion in 2014. Leucate Mayor Michelle Peay agrees: “This will allow us to extend the tourist season with customers focused on board sports. We want to build an ecosystem around it.” What a bonus. At least for society.
Benoit Gaudio has been working on this project since 2018 with two other founders. Final settings on the boat are being adjusted. “It’s not over yet. Its construction is underway in Lausanne, Switzerland.” But one thing is certain, it will be ready by the summer of 2023, for the first round of tests in Aude. “The record, we will try to beat it in 2024, but the exact date is not set yet. We are working on the first steps in the spring., detailing the future SP80 pilot. He is trying to go faster than the record set in 2012, which currently stands at 65.45 knots at 121 km/h. The remaining figures on the heads of the pilots.
They want to make history decisively and at high speed. But above all, they had to design and build a ship that could compete with the Mediterranean Sea and the wind. In partnership with an engineering school based in Switzerland, the project grew and the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. First by prototyping up to the SP80 construction, which is 10.5 meters long and 7.5 meters wide.
On board, on the day of the first tests, the two pilots are strapped into the cockpit, as if they were in a racing car. “The goal is to return without injury, 150 km/h is very fast. We also wear helmets to avoid the worst.”Benoit Gaudio shows.
Thanks to its aerodynamic shape, the boat absorbs all the force of the wind to go as fast as possible. In case of failure, the pilots have no intention of landing themselves, they will try again. In the spirit of Benoît Gaudio, the will to fight is unmistakable. Bannermen: becoming new record holders.
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