Tuesday, September 13, 2016, on the outskirts of Marseille, at Port Corbières, Voilavion was preparing its latest prototype (Class A). Our team, invited for a test run, geared up and gathered in the Zodiac that would pull the foiling boat from the port to the Frioul islands, confirming the foiler’s extremely comfortable and stable feel. While enjoying the vantage point : a distinctive feature of the Voilavion is its sail placed on the side of the boat, similar to a windsurf’s sail, allowing for maximum visibility.
A beautiful day to fly, with 87.8°F and enough wind to get us going, we made it out to sea with high hopes. “There were up to 15 knots in the gusts, but an average of 12 knots,” said NauticExpo content manager Thomas Fettig. A Voilavion requires 10 knots to start foiling.
Two aboard, including Voilavion’s skipper Gérald Quéouron, back and forth they went with only one side of the boat reaching height above water. Quéouron took another hour, giving other NauticExpo members a chance to ride, and still no luck.
“There must still be water in the hulls,” Quéouron said. He gave it a last run solo to cut down the weight, and with much success, we saw the boat fly. More a confirmation than anything else as Voilavion has been seen sailing 100% foilborne, notably this past July during the Foiling Week (check this video to get a glimpse of the event. Voilavion appears at 1’42’.”).