Richard Mille supports the Swiss SP80 team in its latest challenge: to build a boat to break the world speed sailing record in 2022.
North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT ™), a world leader in pre-impregnated materials, also contributed to the effort by providing Carbon TPT for the structure of the boat.
The team can now get to work on the crucial phase of building the boat, which will have to reach a speed of 150 km / h (80 knots) using the wind as the only source of energy.
Richard Mille has always been fascinated by speed, aeronautics and extreme technological developments. When the project was introduced to the watch brand by its longtime partner NTPT, who manufactures Carbon TPT for use in watch cases exclusively for Richard Mille, choosing to support this incredible adventure was an obvious decision.
“Driven by the desire to achieve their goal, the SP80 team is ready to upset conventions in the world of sailing. This same boldness has driven our brand for the past 20 years. In this young company, we see the effervescence of an enthusiastic and talented group “, says Tim Malachard, marketing director of Richard Mille.
SP80, who is the team that proves the record
SP80 was founded in 2018 by Xavier Lepercq, Benoît Gaudiot and Mayeul van den Broek, three engineers passionate about kitesurfing, sailing boats of all kinds and ocean crossings. Today, their company includes about 40 engineers and students from EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne). To break the record world speed of 65 knots (121 km / h) established in 2012, the SP80 team has decided to find a completely innovative solution.
It is thus developing a sailboat with a different design from the others; it measures 7 meters long and 6 meters wide with a hull made entirely of Carbon TPT and is towed by a kitesurf sail with a wingspan of over 20m. With a concept halfway between a boat, an airplane and a Formula 1 car, the studio of pro casting has developed appendages with a special “super ventilated” profile that lifts the hull from the surface of the water to ensure stability at high speed. This technology also avoids the cavitation phenomenon, which negatively affects performance.
The team has also filed a patent for an energy management system, which transmits all the wind force from the kite to the boat’s foils while maintaining stability at high speed. Such a conception will surely go down in history. “This partnership is the meeting between two Swiss companies committed to the pursuit of maximum performance, exceptional enterprises and innovation,” explains Mayeul van den Broek, co-founder of SP80. “Our respective manufacturing processes are also similar in the use of Carbon TPT, which is present in both the watches and our boat. Richard Mille’s involvement in the SP80 adventure is a source of great pride and incredible motivation for our young team. It means we can step up development and start building our hull, so that it can make its first outings at sea in 2022 “.