ZEPHIR PROJECT by Antoine Albeau & Marc Amerigo
ZEPHIR PROJECT by Antoine Albeau & Marc Amerigo
"Breaking the overall sailing speed World Record, by pushing the technological and human limits, and revolutionizing water sports". This sums up Zephir Project, please allow us to share this amazing project with you. Spectacular advances made only with our limited financial ressources... Discover the project and imagine what we would do if we had money! (english subtitles available) "Zephir Project", which carries the project, is a non-profit association under the French law of 1901 in the field of science and sport, giving rise in France to tax exemption for donations made. Tax receipts will be issued for each contribution of 20€ or more. Summary In osmosis with nature and the elements, "Zephir Project", the quest for the world’s record is led by the most successful French sportsman: Antoine ALBEAU, 25 times world windsurfing champion and piloted by his co-creator Marc AMERIGO, Project Manager and renowned engineer, both surrounded by an international team of the best experts in their field. Engineering, design and manufacture of numerous prototypes, on-board measurements, sea and wind tunnel tests, data science and artificial intelligence: all are cross-cutting fields and world firsts that must be carried out simultaneously throughout the three-year timeline of the project. Let’s introduce Project Zephir in 2 minutes through this documentary filmed for Stade 2 France Télévision! (english subtitles available) Beyond the sporting feat of one man against the most powerful boats and this exceptional human adventure, Zephir Project aims to transmit eco-responsible values. So far, these promising first explorations have been possible thanks to our own resources, our total commitment and the support of our technical partners. But to follow through, we now need solid financial resources. The entire Zephir Project team is honoured to introduce and invite you to discover this amazing adventure. Genesis & Convergence "Life is made up of beautiful encounters and opportunities", as they say! After 30 years of exploration and success in their respective fields, Antoine ALBEAU and Marc AMERIGO crossed paths to set themselves an ultimate challenge: beat the absolute sailing speed record. Since 2015, Antoine is the current holder of the world speed record of 53.27 knots. In 2020, Marc suggested to Antoine to venture into Zephir Project. Leader of extraordinary projects in the most extreme environments, entrepreneur, engineer by training, Marc is also the holder of several world speed records, most specifically with Eric Barone (mountain bike speed record) and Edmond Plawczyk (snowboard speed record). He structures his projects based on his philosophy of UltraPerformance through Human Empowerment. Their shared vision of the future of high-speed sailing, their cumulative experience of extreme conditions and their mutual trust are the essential ingredients to project themselves towards the "impossible" and set off in pursuit of the world record for absolute speed with a sail: 65.45 knots (121.06 Km/h) over 500 metres and 59.37 knots (109.94 Km/h) average speed over a nautical mile (1852 metres), held since 2012 by a flying boat, Vestas Sailrocket2. For the record, Antoine has already been the fastest man with a sail with 49.09 knots in 2008, a title we would like to take back. Discover him in action below, back in 2020, speed training on a classic fin board. Life anecdote: back in time and to close the loop... at the beginning of the '90s, Marc and his student-engineer friends from the Ecole Centrale were already trying to beat the speed with a sail of 50 knots! Over three years of research and revolution, Zephir Project will trial eight intermediate world record attempts or world firsts, before tackling absolute speed in 2023. The project evolve around the powers of working as a collective team and interdisciplinarity. By surrounding Antoine with the best experts in the world in several disciplines, the inevitable outcome is to truly reinvent "windsurfing" and reclaim its mythical title as the fastest machine on the water. The design of this complex system is based on a Zephir core team. Amongst us is Martin FISCHER, current INEOS designer for the next AC37, recent co-design coordinator of the LUNA ROSSA boat (finalist in last America's Cup) and a well renowned international architect involved in the foiling revolution. Martin joined the challenge with great enthusiasm and energy and brings with him a wide network of international experts. Alongside Martin, Robert STROJ, Head of Design for the NeilPryde Group, is an iconic figure in the world of sailing and the creator of the Olympic RSX. Based in Hawaii, he is part of the close-knit team around Antoine and Marc. Antoine's windsurfing world record, achieved in 2015 and still standing, shows the saturation of windsurfing as it is today. We are reaching the limits and 53.27 knots are achieved in a titanic battle with the elements. The fin, even if asymmetric, is at the limits of cavitation: synonymous with stalling and violent fall. Rather than fighting the elements, we will play with them and compose with them, being at peace and in harmony with nature. Our objective is to take back this record in open water by seeking energy efficiency and absolute glide. The stories of these extreme explorers intersect throughout their professional careers, having leaned on each other in high achieving moments of life. This form of completeness is written with experienced men and women from all walks of life. A major characteristic of this group, beyond the spirit of adventure and their total commitment to their projects, is a huge heart and beautiful human values that they like to share with their followers. Before being part of this extraordinary project, they all had extraordinary stories to tell! Our Vision & Values Our vision is to bring together the best energies and know-how in a dynamic collective group around Antoine and Marc, to make our most beautiful dreams come true. Around our common values, Antoine moves from a very individual discipline to a collective achievement towards an ultimate goal. With the combined experience of numerous world speed records, whether it is in windsurfing, snowboarding or mountain biking, these records are the result of a specific state of mind and the path chosen: our mission is setting up Antoine in conditions of "comfort" at very high speed to be able to explore the unknown with confidence, while limiting the risks. Beyond our vision and our values, the keywords are stability, comfort and commitment. UltraPerformance, the backbone of the project We rely on the philosophy of "UltraPerformance through Human Empowerment", developed and implemented by Marc AMERIGO in the most complex or extreme environments. This disruptive approach to leadership and management has led to outstanding performance in various projects he managed in extreme sports, as well as in industrial environments on extremely sensitive operations. The whole dynamic is to combine performance at the highest level in all technical fields, and build, at the same time, a real modern-day tribe, dedicated to individual and collective accomplishment. Each person involved, chosen for their skills and their openness to others, becomes a key part of the project's architecture, just like our champion Antoine. He achieves the purest performance and brings the final touch to the project, "those last 10 metres" similar to our other great stainless steel champion, Eric BARONE, with his numerous extreme world records. Passing on knowledge and looking at the future Passing on knowledge: whether in its technical or human form, through the exceptional relationship that Antoine and Marc have with the young hopeful Pierre Schmitz. Seeing Pierre grow up, become more involved and transform himself with the first advances of the Zephir project, is a real gift of life. Our ambition This real adventure, both technical and human, is the business of all those involved, whether they are in the close-knit team around Antoine and Marc, part of the technical or financial support team or support from the heart. This project, with international repercussions, has great ambitions: - to develop a new dimension on the water with the elements and nature, - to push back the ultimate limits of sailing speed, - to allow the most people to experience unique sensations in complete safety, ... and to show how much the human dimension and respect for others are beautiful values that allow us to go beyond ourselves together. A project for everyone’s benefit In this video, Pierre Schmitz enjoys himself in a very first exploratory test... Listen to him!!! The #ZephirProject is also about enabling every windsurfer to go fast comfortably and safely. To be able to reach 50 knots (about 100Km/h) just by being a good rider is something that seems possible to us! Beyond this quest for energy efficiency and absolute glide, eco-responsibility remains one of our priorities. We want to achieve these performances in open water (on the beach with the off-shore wind) and be able to free ourselves from an artificial canal, with a strong ecological impact, such as the one in Lüderitz in Namibia or in the past at the Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in Provence (France). To respect the environment, the equipment will be essentially developed and produced in France and Europe. Our Strategy It all starts by allowing us to start from scratch and go back to the fundamentals of windsurfing through each of its 3 main components: rig, board and pilot. The speed limiting parameters are the drag on contact with the water and underwater as well as the aerodynamics of the pilot, the rig and the float which are both the engines and the brakes of the system. The key to the project is to open up new potentials and explore new combinations with Antoine as the "pilot explorer", assisted by developers. Let's talk about our technical approach! The speed readings on the current Windsurf or Windfoil equipment show their saturation levels. They need to be revisited to move into this new dimension of very high speed. That’s why we combine brainstorming, calculation simulations, prototypes and tests at sea and in the wind tunnel. Before creating a new prototype, the current groundwork is based on calculations with fluid mechanics software for each component of the pilot|machine system. The calculations will then integrate the whole system when the technical strategy for each element is mature enough. These calculations are carried out by iteration to optimise each aerodynamic or hydrodynamic profile. Another key point is for the calculations to allow a good understanding of the dynamics of the system and to mentally prepare the driver for the sensations in the transition phase for very high-performance ranges. These calculations are carried out using artificial intelligence and machine learning. In the test and record attempt phases, we use onboard measurement equipment such as inertial units (IMUs) and data acquisition systems (data logger, real-time transmission) to analyse wind data and the dynamic behaviour of the float, the rig and the pilot. Another area of work is the ability to manage transient regimes from zero speed start-up to speeds above 60 knots (120 km/h). The rig, a source of power The rigging is the real engine of the system and needs to combine several characteristics: high wind power without the effect of saturation at very high speed, low drag in the air, and great stability and ease of use at all the different stages of speed, especially at start-up. The float and its drag-limiting appendices The hard part of our "revolution" is underwater. The numerous evolutions of the hull of the boards have shown that whatever their shape, the interface with the water means that very strong efforts are needed above 50 knots. Both the pilot and the power of the rig can't overcome it. To add to the drag, the water's surface condition becomes a major parameter as the smallest chop (wavelets) which are sensitive to small variations in wind angle will limit the performance. The solution could come from a combination of a planing hull up to an intermediate speed, followed by a hybrid system of evolving and piloted foils, that will bring flight stability to the pilot at very high speed. Everything remains to be explored! The key issues to be explored and mastered: cavitation effects above 50 knots and the deformation of appendages at high speed (fluid interaction/structure). The pilot is now an integral part of the system Antoine ALBEAU, an outstanding champion, has been able to evolve with the equipment since the '90s, while remaining at the highest level with all his world championship titles! We are now entering a new rupture where the speed of movement is such, that the apparent wind generated develops very high drag forces on Antoine's body, proportional to his squared speed. As a result, Antoine himself will have to be aerodynamically "enhanced". Here below, we see the visualization smoke following the airflow around Antoine's face. The idea is to work on a specific aerodynamic suit that does not hinder Antoine's movements, especially at low speed, and that can be adapted to the calculations validated as well as agreed with the manufacturer. We can imagine that this suit, rather than limiting the drag, could also add some extra traction. The calculations will lead us to follow what feels right to explore! For the pre-studies, Antoine played the game with these fluorescent particles that allow us to better understand the effects of the air. Below, the "motion capture" equipment, used in movie animation and video games, allows Antoine to be digitalized in action, to design his future suit aka the "speed suit". Safety approach and mental preparation Antoine and the future test pilots will be exploring unknown areas, due to the speed and the exposure to shocks in case of a fall. Dedicated work on safety is essential, similar to the one done on hydrofoil boats currently reaching speeds of over 50 knots and that can be stopped suddenly if they lose flight. Specific mental preparation is also essential. Falls at 100 km/h are already very spectacular. Even if the evolution of speeds will be progressive, at speeds above 120Km/h, the water does not absorb the first shocks. In order to avoid the fall, the "Mindset" has to be changed. Alongside Antoine who is particularly experienced in doing big things (big waves, speed on narrow channels, extreme wind conditions), Eric BARONE brings his know-how on these two dimensions. The press shows their confidence in our project Three years of research, trials and revolutions! What's next? As you know, your help is paramount for us to be able to undertake the next technical steps that will take us all together towards these world record attempts. By joining us, you are embarking on the Zephir Project adventure in the same way as all current and future partners, whatever their size. The leverage of our strong community on our future sponsors is the key to success. Zephir Project is first and foremost a matter of people and human links. Your commitment will be part of the story! Come on board with us to feel the combination of finesse and power! With our sincere thanks for your trust, The Zephir Project Team
Allocation of funds
For us, this crowfunding campaign is the first stage to launch our rocket to the Moon! The technical foundations of the project are now very strong and we have been able to demonstrate the feasibility of the project with our own technical and financial resources, and above all, the unfailing support of our technical partners since the launch in 2020. To move to the key prototyping stage in 2021 (see introductory video) and to carry on with our technical partners, we now need new resources. In all transparency, we detail below the items to be financed according to the various stages reached. The confidence of our community, as well as your confidence, Dear Contributors, constitutes an enormous leverage effect for our future sponsors. Together, we will be able to achieve the greatest goals of Zephir Project andhave an impact on the greatest number of people. We need you now! Stage 1: 80k€, our minimum crowfunding campaign goal You know the rule, if this goal is not reached in the next 45 days, everyone goes home with their money... For us, this 80k€ level, even if it is limited compared to the global budget of the project over 3 years, is a real catalyst for the future. It will allow us to continue our adventure without putting it on standby, by finalising a first limited series of prototypes of exploratory machines. It would be the start of our journey together and the opening door to new heights, before reaching the Moon! Stage 2: reaching 175k€. This additional investment would allow us to complete the full prototyping and analysis phase. This is the foundation to enable us to design these futuristic machines in 2022, capable of flying at high speed with ease. This first Holy Grail is the assurance of taking off and venturing into the unknown of very high speed on water. Stage 3: if we go over the €280k mark! Reaching this milestone would be a sign of great confidence and a strong commitment from our community and contributors. As you can see in the items listing below, this level opens directly onto the building of the future "system" and the fine analysis of the conditions in which we will attempt these extreme records. For all of us, as well as for you, this will be the assurance to participate in a great modern-day adventure, in real time, over the next 3 years. Here are the details of the items & studies we will be able to fund with your support: Join us and contribute to items that make sense to you and let us know by leaving a comment! This will allow us to keep you informed of our progress. A huge thank you to all of you for your attention, and most of all, your trust and your support, whatever form it takes! See you soon, Antoine & Marc and the whole Zephir Project team. COME ONBOARD WITH US! PHOTO GALLERY & VIDEOS As an introduction, here is the full documentary by "Stade 2 Grand Format" broadcasted on French television: Credits photos / videos / editing: Richard Bord Photography, SemProd, France Télévision, Ill-Prod, Aeroworx, RevolutionR, Prince of Speed, La Tour Azur & Zephir Project.