A NEW BREED FOR SPEED

Introducing new assaults on the outright world speed sailing record. The Syroco project is spearheaded in France by kite speed (previously also overall world speed sailing) world record holder, Alex Caizergues, while the Swiss SP80 team has gathered over 40 engineers whose objective is to 'pulverize' the current record by 2022

A NEW BREED FOR SPEED

Introducing new assaults on the outright world speed sailing record. The Syroco project is spearheaded in France by kite speed (previously also overall world speed sailing) world record holder, Alex Caizergues, while the Swiss SP80 team has gathered over 40 engineers whose objective is to 'pulverize' the current record by 2022

THE SYROCO PROJECT

INTERVIEW WITH ALEX CAIZERGUES BY KITEWORLD EDITOR, JIM GAUNT

Who came up with the Syroco project and when? When Sailrocket, helmed by Paul Larsen, blew the absolute sailing speed record away in 2012, clocking a speed of 120 km/h (65.45 knots) over 500 metres, I immediately knew that kiteboarders would not be able to regain this title just with a board and kite. Going at speeds of 120-130 km/h you must be inside a cockpit to help ensure you'd survive a crash. I introduced the idea of this Syroco project to my friends, Florent and Bertrand, successful entrepreneurs in the tech startup world (also passionate kiteboarders). They decided to help me find a sustainable business model, allowing the project to grow on after a new record. Yves (another tech contact) and Olivier (off-shore racer and naval architect) also joined us as co-founders.

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THE SYROCO PROJECT

INTERVIEW WITH ALEX CAIZERGUES BY KITEWORLD EDITOR, JIM GAUNT

Who came up with the Syroco project and when? When Sailrocket, helmed by Paul Larsen, blew the absolute sailing speed record away in 2012, clocking a speed of 120 km/h (65.45 knots) over 500 metres, I immediately knew that kiteboarders would not be able to regain this title just with a board and kite. Going at speeds of 120-130 km/h you must be inside a cockpit to help ensure you'd survive a crash. I introduced the idea of this Syroco project to my friends, Florent and Bertrand, successful entrepreneurs in the tech startup world (also passionate kiteboarders). They decided to help me find a sustainable business model, allowing the project to grow on after a new record. Yves (another tech contact) and Olivier (off-shore racer and naval architect) also joined us as co-founders.

HEAR FROM ALEX AND HIS TEAM IN THIS VIDEO:

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Can you tell us about the Syroco vision and the team? The vision is that pioneering achievements, 'moonshot challenges', as we call them are the only way to drive breakthrough innovation. We aim to invent new methods, create new tools and assemble a high level team to push the limits of technology. More specifically we want to apply the innovations to maritime transportation. The team is composed of naval architects, professors and engineers who specialise in the simulation of fluid dynamics (CFD), fluid structure interaction (FSI) challenged by a pool of specialists, consisting of America’s Cup winners, paragliding and helicopters designers and more.

Today we are a team of 15 people working at Syroco, based in Marseille. We started the company in April 2019, did a first investment round with business angels and are now working on a Series A round of financing, pretty much like a tech startup.

Can you tell us about the Syroco vision and the team? The vision is that pioneering achievements, 'moonshot challenges', as we call them are the only way to drive breakthrough innovation. We aim to invent new methods, create new tools and assemble a high level team to push the limits of technology. More specifically we want to apply the innovations to maritime transportation. The team is composed of naval architects, professors and engineers who specialise in the simulation of fluid dynamics (CFD), fluid structure interaction (FSI) challenged by a pool of specialists, consisting of America’s Cup winners, paragliding and helicopters designers and more.

Today we are a team of 15 people working at Syroco, based in Marseille. We started the company in April 2019, did a first investment round with business angels and are now working on a Series A round of financing, pretty much like a tech startup.

Why are speed records so important to you? For me, despite the passion I have to go fast (whatever the method!), speed has always been the key to me making a living from my passion for kiteboarding. Maritime transportation is one of the biggest contributors of emissions that are killing our Planet. I think speed is a wonderful driver of innovation and will be a perfect showcase to show the world what Syroco is able to bring to the table to help solve problems. Our team is specialised in what we call 'energy efficiency'. We believe we can change the way goods are being transported. Even if we can’t decrease the flows of logistics around the world, we can help them become more efficient and more sustainable with less impact.

Why are speed records so important to you? For me, despite the passion I have to go fast (whatever the method!), speed has always been the key to me making a living from my passion for kiteboarding. Maritime transportation is one of the biggest contributors of emissions that are killing our Planet. I think speed is a wonderful driver of innovation and will be a perfect showcase to show the world what Syroco is able to bring to the table to help solve problems.

Our team is specialised in what we call 'energy efficiency'. We believe we can change the way goods are being transported. Even if we can’t decrease the flows of logistics around the world, we can help them become more efficient and more sustainable with less impact.

ALEX CAIZERGUES' SPEED ACHIEVEMENTS

2007: new kite world record at 47.92 knots in Luderitz, Namibia 2008: new outright sailing speed record at 50.57 knots in Luderitz, Namibia 2009: new kite world record at 50.98 knots in Luderitz, Namibia 2010: new outright sailing speed record at 54.10 knots in Luderitz, Namibia 2013: new kite world record at 56.62 knots in Salin-de-Giraud, France 2017: new kite world record at 57.98 knots in Salin-de-Giraud, France

ALEX CAIZERGUES' SPEED ACHIEVEMENTS

2007: new kite world record at 47.92 knots in Luderitz, Namibia 2008: new outright sailing speed record at 50.57 knots in Luderitz, Namibia 2009: new kite world record at 50.98 knots in Luderitz, Namibia 2010: new outright sailing speed record at 54.10 knots in Luderitz, Namibia 2013: new kite world record at 56.62 knots in Salin-de-Giraud, France 2017: new kite world record at 57.98 knots in Salin-de-Giraud, France

MEANWHILE IN SWITZERLAND...

SP80

Created in 2019 by three engineers obsessed with kiting, sailing and speed, SP80 gathers over forty engineers and students from EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) whose objective is to ‘pulverize’ the current world sailing speed record. To do so, they have also developed a kite boat whose design is unique and futuristic. The young team shares the same passion as its three co-founders and is animated by the common will to shatter the established codes of the sailing world and drive it forwards.

Read and see more on the Kiteworld website here!

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