RICHARD Mille, a world leader in watchmaking, has announced its support of the Swiss boatbuilder SP80 in its challenge to break the world sailing speed record in 2022
Along with sponsorship, Richard Mille will be supplying Carbon TPT for the boat’s structure, a pre-impregnated material made exclusively for the cases of the brand’s most iconic watches by North Thin Ply Technology.
“Fuelled by the desire to achieve their goal, SP80 are ready to shake up sailing conventions,” says Tim Malachard, Marketing Director at Richard Mille. “This same daring spirit has been guiding our brand for the last 20 years. In this young company, we see the effervescence of an enthusiastic and talented team.”
To break the world record of 65 knots, SP80 – founded by engineers Xavier Lepercq, Benoît Gaudiot and Mayeul van den Broek in 2018 – is developing a sailing boat unlike any other, measuring 7 m long and 6 m wide with a hull made entirely from Carbon TPT and propelled by a kite spanning 20 m.
Described as “midway between a boat, a plane and a Formula 1 car”, the design studio has developed a super-ventilated foil that positions the boat at the surface of the water, thus avoiding the phenomenon of cavitation – where water vaporised due to an excessive decrease in pressure affects performance.
The team has also filed a patent for a power management system, which transmits the power from the kite to the boat’s foil while maintaining the boat’s stability at high speed.
“This is a partnership between two companies that are committed to high performance, exceptional feats and innovation,” explains Mayeul van den Broek.
“Even our respective production processes are similar in their use of Carbon TPT, which features in both Mille 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 that we can step up our development and begin building our sailing boat so that it can make its first journeys out to sea in 2022,” he added.
by Joshua Hendren