Richard Mille is supporting Swiss boat builder SP80 in its challenge to break the world sailing speed record in 2022.
Along with sponsorship, RM is providing Carbon TPT, which it uses in some of its most successful watches.
SP80 aims to break the world sailing speed record of 65 knots (75mph) set in 2012, and hopes to touch 85 knots (98mph) on water using nothing but the power of the wind.
“Fuelled by the desire to achieve their goal, SP80 are ready to shake up sailing conventions. 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,” says Tim Malachard, Marketing Director at Richard Mille.
To break the world speed record, the SP80 team is developing a sailing boat with a design unlike any other, measuring 7m long and 6m wide with a hull made entirely from Carbon TPT and propelled by a kite spanning 20m.
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 sailing boat at the surface of the water to guarantee its stability at high speed. In doing so, this technology avoids 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 all the power from the kite to the boat’s foil while maintaining stability at high speed. It is a design that is sure to go down in history.
“This is a partnership between two companies that are committed to high performance, exceptional feats and innovation,” explains Mayeul van den Broek, co-founder of SP80.
“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.”