RENENS, SWITZERLAND -- RICHARD MILLE, SP80, and NTPT, the parent company of TPT Golf Shafts, have teamed up in a new project up to set the World Sailing Speed Record.
Midway between a boat, a plane, and a Formula 1 car, SP80 challenges the limits of what a sailing boat can be and how fast it can go. The hull of the sailing boat is designed with the same TPT® Carbon Fiber and manufacturing method used in RICHARD MILLE carbon watch cases and TPT’s Red Range Driver and Fairway Wood golf shafts to create a sailing boat with an unparalleled level of strength and speed.
With its innovative design, SP80 aims to set a new speed record of 80 knots (150 km/h) using the wind as its only source of power. This would shatter the previous world record of 65.45 knots (121.21 km/h) set in 2012. The sailing boat is expected to make its first journeys to sea in 2022.
“Fueled by the desire to achieve its goal, SP80 is ready to shake up sailing conventions,” said RICHARD MILLE Marketing Director Tim Malachard. “This same daring spirit has been guiding our brand for the last 20 years. In this young company, we see the effervescence of an enthusiastic and talented team.”
The SP80 project was founded in 2018 by NTPT Engineer Xavier Lepercq, as well as Benoît Gaudiot and Mayeul van den Broek, three engineers who are passionate about kitesurfing, sailing boats of every kind, and ocean crossings. Today, their company comprises some 40 engineers and students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL).
“This is a synergy between three companies that strive to be the best in the world in everything they do,” said TPT Chairman Francois Mordasini. “RICHARD MILLE makes the world’s most desirable watches, TPT makes the world’s most precise golf shafts, and when this project is complete SP80 will have created the fastest sailing boat the world has ever seen. TPT® Carbon Fiber is the link between all three, allowing these Swiss companies to engineer the thin, light, and complex shapes that would not be possible without TPT® Carbon Fiber.”
Since 2017, TPT shafts have been used to win 30 tournaments on 13 leading tours, including the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, European Tour, and Champions Tour. TPT shafts have also been used to win an LPGA Major Championship and a World Golf Championship (WGC)
TPT is the golf division of North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT), a Switzerland-based technology and composites company with a track record of delivering innovative solutions for high-performance industries.
The company’s portfolio of advancements includes developing a process for producing America's Cup yacht sails, as well as lightweight bodywork of F1 race cars, skis, and snowboards. It has also created the materials technology found in satellites and Richard Mille luxury composite watches. The record-breaking, solar-powered aircraft "Solar Impulse" also relied on NTPT-produced materials for its epic journey.