Foiling skiff has successful shakedown sail with new wing mast

Mirabaud LX - New wing mast for 2012
Pierre-Alain Folliet / Mirabaud
Thomas Jundt’s Mirabaud LX, a 2008 Swiss experimental foiler, now has a new and improved 24m2 wing mast for the 2012 Lake Geneva season. The crew took the foiler for a successful shakedown sail last night and has its eye on the Lake Geneva records this summer.

Thomas Jundt, Antoine Ravonel and Eric Gobet who make up the three-man crew reassembled the boat last weekend after a busy winter of building the wing and maintaining and improving the platform.

Mirabaud LX - New wing mast 3D rendering
Mathias Bavaud

The Mirabaud LX rigid wing (similar to the concept since adopted by the America’s Cup) has been increased by 5m2 for 2012 as Thomas Jundt explains: 'Last year, we concluded that the wing is a great solution, but unfortunately we under-sized our first one thinking that its performance would compensate for the surface area.' He adds: 'In practice however, the wing is much easier to handle than a soft sail as it never flaps, so our goal with this new one is to have more power in order to foil earlier.'

Mathias Bavaud, a composite specialist based in Yverdon, Switzerland, led the wing modifications, increasing the wing area from the bottom. 'Structurally, it was easier to do it this way,' says Thomas Jundt, who once again was in charge of the calculations. 'The aft element cord has been increased from 1m to 1.3m, inspired by the AC45 wing profile.'

Mirabaud LX - New wing mast 3D rendering
Mathias Bavaud

Mirabaud LX - New wing mast 3D rendering
Mathias Bavaud

The first impressions after yesterday’s shakedown sail were pretty conclusive: 'We went out, we set up the wing and we foiled!' says a delighted Thomas Jundt. 'There is a lot of power in it. We didn’t trim it on too hard, as having seen the performance we will need to reinforce a few vulnerable areas, but overall we are very happy with this improvement.'

The 2012 Mirabaud LX goals are to set a number of Lake Geneva records: the kilometre record, the hour record and the ‘Ruban Violet’ (purple ribbon). The team will also race the Geneva-Rolle-Geneva, the Bol d’Or Mirabaud, the Six Hours of Nernier and the Versoix Double.

The shore crew has been bolstered with the addition of a weather boat that will collect data during the training sessions to analyse and improve performance. Philippe Baraud, a sailor and the co-founder of the Regatta Training Centre, will lead this project.

Mirabaud LX website