News of 3rd October 2008
The SYZ & CO foil catamaran’s entire crew was assembled yesterday evening at the Société Nautique de Genève to celebrate the flying boat’s christening. The catamaran, suspended in mid-air in front of the Club, drew much attention from the crowd of visitors who had come to admire this hightechnology sailing craft. The project’s initiators, Patrick Firmenich, Jean Psarofaghis and Alex Schneiter, were present along with the entire staff that has worked on this leading-edge project: Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prévost (of VPLP Yacht Design), Yvan Ravussin (of ZR Concept, in charge of the foils’ development), the leading executives of Banque SYZ & CO, as well as engineers Clemens Dransfeld and Giorgio Provinciali were all gathered around the boat with Alain Prost, its godfather.
The christening took place two days after the catamaran’s spectacular launch via helicopter. The airlift of this strange dragonfly from the Psaros shipyard in Vésenaz, over the fields of Cologny and into the waters of a Société Nautique de Genève bathed in sunlight was a moment of intense beauty and emotion.
“Although sailing is a completely different sport, I have found many similarities with the universe of Formula One. This type of project reflects the same philosophy of progress, the same quest for performance relying on constant innovation. I wish this extraordinary enterprise complete success”, said Alain Prost as he smashed the Champagne bottle against the ship’s starboard foil. Alex Schneiter and Patrick Firmenich reminded those present that “it was necessary to push research to the limits in order to lighten the ship’s weight in all areas. Each piece required intense reflection in order to meet the seemingly contradictory imperatives of robustness and lightness. This yacht is akin both to Formula One and precision watch making.”