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28 Sep 2007
IOC News , museum-news-articles

Passion for Sailing

No fewer than 650 people attended the La voile dans tous ses états sailing agora on Wednesday evening at the Olympic Museum. We’ve never seen anything like it! With our flat-water sailors regularly excelling on the oceans and the America’s Cup remaining in Swiss hands since the victory of Alinghi in Valencia last June, the public’s passion for sailing is now undeniable. The evening was organised alongside the Sailing the World exhibition – running at the Olympic Museum until 8 January.
Swiss sailors honoured
A stage of sailing enthusiasts including: Stève Ravussin and Dominique Wavre and Alain Gautier; Yves Detrey, Luc Dubois, Nils Frei and Christian Karcher, sailors from the Alinghi team; Professor Jan-Anders Manson and Pascal Vuilliomenet of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), a partner of Alinghi; and Alain Thébault, the brilliant designer of the hydrofoil. Guests of honour were Göran Petersson and King Constantine of Greece, President and Honorary President of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) respectively.
Monohulls versus multihulls
The evening began with some wonderful images from the America’s Cup then commented on by the Alinghi team. Then followed a friendly discussion between those in favour of the monohull and those of the multihull, which goes much faster, but costs more… Interest in an America’s Cup, however, gives an opportunity to explain and understand better sailing and its particularities, with its regattas where the boats almost touch and are able to cross the finish line barely a metre ahead …
Hydrofoil - the flying boat
They also talked about the hydrofoil, a catamaran, which pretty much “flies” over the water, created by Alain Thébault, a young French inventor who is a worthy successor to Eric Tabarly, who had already imagined such a boat. It reaches 45 knots (about 83 km/h) despite its weight (nearly five tonnes) and its designer promises that soon it will reach 50 knots! At the EPFL, for four years and in seven laboratories, about 50 people have been working enthusiastically on anything which could further improve the performances of the hydrofoil or Alinghi. One couldn’t ask for anything more…

You can admire the famous silver ewer, the coveted trophy of the America's Cup, in the Museum reception area until Sunday.
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