The Mail on Sunday included an article We have lift off: The quickest yacht in the world. Extract here:
Is it a boat? is it a plane? No - it's something in between, that also happens to be very, very fast. Ian Stafford goes flying on the quickest yacht in the world
"This is not a boat, nor a plane either. This is a magical flying carpet,2 says Alain Thébault, the man behind the Hydroptère, the world's fastest yacht.
There's magic in the air even as we cast off from the Breton port of La Trinité-sur-Mer, overlooked by the ancient stones of Carnac, France's own Stonehenge.
There's a flurry of strenuous hoisting and winding as the wind balloons the sails. The craft begins to accelerate.
It cuts the waves faster and faster, the nose begins to lift… and then we're flying.
It just keeps on going faster.
The only sound from the sea beneath is the single hydrofoil blade cutting through the waves like a sword.
Its far end shimmers underwater; thunderclouds of spray fill the air in its wake.
Hydroptère throws up more water than a hundred jet-skis, but in total silence – except when the crew whoop for joy.
This extraordinary trimaran is the result of 20 years of research, engineering and design, plus substantial backing from Swiss banker Thierry Lombard.
It's a yacht made from carbon fibre and titanium that rises up on to "wings".
Instead of ploughing through the waves, it glides over them.
Once up to speed, only one of two hydrofoils at the end of each outer keel actually touches the sea. The drag is almost negligible. This is why it has already set two world speed records, over a nautical mile and 500m, and why it'll continue to redefine yachting speeds as we know them this summer. Watch out for the reports.
and the article ends
Hydroptère is a personal obsession, a life's work born of one man's dream – but now that it's on the verge of breaking every record that matters, there are plenty of potential buyers.
Does Thébault know how much the project has cost? "No," he replies.
"With all the adjustments and innovations it's very difficult to say. I'd say many millions of euros."
Would he ever sell? "We have had a few people approach us, but I have not even waited for a price, nor offered one, and discussions never take place."
Why not? Thébault smiles and lets out another whoop of joy as Hydroptère nudges past 40 knots again and the Quiberon peninsula flashes by.
"There are some things in life no amount of money can ever buy," he explains, with a broad grin. "You cannot put a price on living a dream."
If we refer to Maslow we can see that the yacht is all about the satisfaction of Alain Thébault's need for self-actualisation. He is incredibly fortunate to have, since 2006, sponsorship from Swiss banker Thierry Lombard. As the official site puts it
Born in 1962, under the sign of Virgo, half-mad or half-wise depending on the tides, Alain Thébault once had a dream: creating a flying boat.
In the sailing world, there are many Ulysses. Sailors are cunning people who know how to make it through the tempest and to use a bit of cunning with the technical and human elements in order to survive. But Alain Thébault is the only living Icarus among the oceanic skippers. He possesses a fever for invention, a scorn for danger and the need to burn himself under every sun. The skipper of l’Hydroptère, the “flying boat”, is a misunderstood person who likes nothing better than rile the crowds who doubt him. He is also a determined man who would fall 10 times and get back up 100 times. Finally, he is an agitator who has burnt his wings many times by provoking the anger in the political and business spheres.
Pilote d’un rêve (Piloting a Dream), Alain Thébault,
Flammarion March 2005, Libération
Maslow can play out at two extremes-
a utilitarian view:
Or a symbolic one: