World's fastest sailboat attempts transpacific speed record

Credit: Guilain Grenier

This ship (it's almost too advanced to just call it a "ship") is the Hydroptere, and it's considered the fastest sailing vessel in the world. But it has yet to achieve one of the great feats of the sailing world: a record-breaking voyage between Los Angeles and Honolulu.

It takes some breathtaking design to make a serious attempt at the transpacific record, and breathtaking design is something which the Hydroptere, sometimes dubbed "the flying boat", has in spades. Hydroptere is a trimaran, forged from cutting-edge composites and designed to "fly" with her hull completely out of the water on hydrofoils, reducing drag. This puts incredible amounts of pressure against the ship's foils: twice as much pressure as is endured by the wings of a jet fighter, to be exact.

And that's really what the Hydroptere is: the high-tech jet of the sea. Sans actual jets, of course, since it's a sailboat without any engines at all, making it all the more impressive that it can accelerate from 20 to 45 knots (or 23 to 52 MPH) in just 10 seconds. Pretty incredible for something that moves through a substance 784 times more dense than air. To see what the Hydroptere can do, check out some video in the gallery below.

Via Designboom

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