SoftWing – St. Tropez 2014 Session – Interview des naviguants

Lors de la session de tests comparatifs menée à St. Tropez avec deux catamarans F18, nous avons demandé aux naviguants de nous donner leurs impressions de navigatioon avec une aile souple SoftWing: quelles sensations? Une aile souple est-elle plus difficile à utiliser qu’un gréement classique? Est-ce réellement plus performant? Découvrez ici l’interview de Maxime Burgonse et Clément Proux et des images intéressantes d’un F18 naviguant avec une aile souple SoftWing.

Flexible wings for shipping: first implementation is on the way.

During a meeting held in Geneva (Switzerland), SoftWing and Transmetal Industries initiated a collaboration aiming at demonstrating the value of flexible wings as a means of propulsion booster in the field of maritime transport.

Sea carriers are highly dependent on fossil fuels. The SoftWing technology could reduce this dependence and through this lead to substantial savings. Indeed, diminishing the speed of a ship by 1 or 2 knots  already leads to significant fuel economy. The SoftWing technology can be applied as an automated means of propulsion booster, leading to a stable cruising speed and considerable fuel savings.

SoftWing and Transmetal Industries are currently elaborating a first project to assess the potential of Softwing on a ferry for passenger transport in the harbor of Toulon.

Philippe Gay, COO


SME director 44 years old, Philip discovered sailing on Optimists at the age of 7. When he was 21, he obtained his license as sea skipper and took several ocean expeditions. In 1997, he joined the America’s Cup Swiss Team in Auckland in New Zealand as project manager for the analysis of the logistical requirements of the Team.

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Serge Rentsch CMO


After obtaining a master’s degree in political science, Serge Rentsch, 46, entered the world of marketing and communications in 1992. In charge of the media budget of a large watch brand Geneva-based agency, he quickly shifted to strategic planning and client consulting for various luxury, media, entertainment and FMCG companies.

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Didier Quinodoz, Project Officer


Independent ENT specialist doctor, 47 years, Didier has always been passionate about winter and sailing sports. During five seasons, he participated as crew and co-owner on Lake Geneva multihull racing with big names of sailing such as, among other famous sailors, Philippe Durr and Russel Coutts with whom he won the Bol d’Or on the Décision 35 Banque Gonet in 2006.

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Avantages principaux de l’aile souple SoftWing

Les avantages d’une aile souple sont nombreux et apportent un grand nombre de réponses aux difficultés observées avec des voiles traditionnelles, tout en procurant les avantages de performance constatés avec les voiles/ailes rigides :


  • Plus rapide et moins de gîte à toutes les allures
  • Meilleure performance au près Continue reading

The flexible wing SoftWing successfully tested with 25-30 knot winds.

Start of the race Saturday, May 8 , 2013 at 13h.

Violent thunderstorms are forecasted for the afternoon. The sky is clear and there are still no clouds over the peaks of the Jura mountain. The wind is very low and blows in several directions. Under these conditions, it is hard for the Pi28 to perform.

At around 16:30, a strong 10 knot wind rises from SW… The Pi28 repositions itself in the race by flying at above 18 knots towards the town of Rolle. The synchronization between the helmsman and the trimmer of the flexible wing is excellent and balance can be maintained.

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Current developments and ongoing applications of SoftWing

Currently Softwing flexible wings equip both a platform for high-tech competition and a series of racing trimarans for cruising:

  • the Pi28 ” Gonet & Cie ” on the lake of Geneva : Pi28 is a boat foil developed by Hugues de Turckheim and Sebastian Schmidt. Its aim is to win various speed records on the lake of Geneva. This yacht was built in 2011 and was used to test two prototypes of the flexible wing Softwing. A third prototype, which includes a series of improvements studied in previous trials is navigating during the 2013 season: the results in terms of performance, manoeuvrability and reliability are extremely positive to date (see also next section).


  • The T29s: a series of 29 foot racing trimarans are under construction in Sweden. The first unit is currently being equipped with a flexible wing conducted by SoftWing, while a second unit has a classic rig, which will allow comparative tests in Baltic Sea in the upcoming weeks.