At the beginning of July you might spot the Robosail at sea off IJmuiden doing her first sea trials after an extensive refit. The Robosail (ex-Syllogic) lost her canting mast during the last Route du Rhum in the Bay of Biscay.
Anyone who expected that skipper Pieter Adriaans would go for a more traditional approach after this accident is in for a treat. The Robosail will have a revolutionary new swing mast developed by Vels and van de Stadt Design. The boat will be cat rigged with one mainsail of 108 m2. The mast is an unstayed wing mast that can rotate 360 degrees. 'Our calculations show that the boat will be as fast as under the previous rig, but much lighter and much easier to handle. I cannot wait to do the first tests.' sais Pieter. Of course the Robosail will be sailing with the most recent version of the Odys self learning autopilot.
In the four years after in the 2000 Europe 1, Newman STAR the system has grown from a scientific prototype to a mature, robust and versatile product. Pieter: 'At Robosail we do a lot of consultancy for race yachts with our datamining software. It is amazing how fast you can calibrate your sensors and optimise the performance of the boat'.
He sees the 2004 racing season as a test for the new rig and as an opportunity to qualify for the STAR 2005. At the moment the team of builder Johan Vels is working very hard to get the yacht ready for the Petitbateau Race that will start on July the 17th from Falmouth in the UK.
More to follow.