Oceankiteproject2019 ©

 

Our goal: 

 

To build and develop a platform capable of crossing the Atlantic by kite as fast and as safely as possible.

The current record is 54 Days. We want to more than halve it. 

 

Our story:

We aim to break the Atlantic kiteboat record.

Our advisory team is made up of a group of expert individuals with backgrounds in design, engineering, ocean sailing, kitesurfing and ocean rowing.

Our current work team is made up of 2 - James Blake and Jake Jefferis. We are both keen ocean sailors and kite surfers with vast blue water experience. Jake is a boatbuilder by trade, specialising in carbon, glass and wood. James works as a cameraman specialising in marine environments. We both have a technical background in design.  

Having had the initial idea more than 10 years ago, we have been developing the kiteboat systems for 5 years. After many prototypes, and long hours of testing, we consulted with the British America's Cup team, and in 2018 were delighted to acquire an AC45 hull from them as part of their sustainability pledge (thanks Ben).

 

We are now building a 45ft boat; the world's first ACK45 (America's Cup Kite). Continuing the process of recycling, currently more than 99% of the boat is made of reused materials. This is even down to the keel, which is composed of old dive weights, bits of old roof and old ballast. 

 

We are building a platform capable of crossing any ocean by kite, as fast and as safely as possible, and with zero environmental impact. 

 

About us:

 

Work team

James Blake - Pilot. James is an experienced kite surfer, and an ocean sailor with over 75,000 blue water miles, including the record for the fastest unassisted Tran-Tasman row. He works as a freelance cameraman and director, sailing round the world in the 17/18 Volvo Ocean Race as an On Board Reporter.

 

Jake Jefferis - Pilot.  Jake works as a designer and boat builder with over 50,000 blue water miles and a background in single-handed ocean racing. He specialises in carbon composite construction.

Advisory team

 

Tony Rae - Advisor. "Trae" has competed in 5 Volvo Ocean Races and 7 America's Cup Campaigns. He is one of the most respected sailors in ocean racing. He is providing support for boat layout and logistics.

 

Roger ‘Clouds’ Badham - Weather Man. Roger is one of the world's top ocean meteorologists (America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Formula 1) and will advise on routing for the Atlantic crossing.

 

Roy Pace - Advisor. Roy developed cinematographic special effects through the 60’s and 70’s, including for titles such as Superman and The Three Musketeers. He was a professional seaman and speed sailor, and without his initial funding the project would not have begun.

 

Tom Schnackenberg - Advisor. Tom was a principal designer and navigator for Team New Zealand during the 5-0 win against Prada in 2000. He has 3 successful America's Cup Campaigns under his belt, with major contributions to racing boat and sail design.

 

Sam Light - Advisor.

Don Montague - Advisor.

Objectives:

 

 Develop a winch capable of controlling the kite safely and efficiently while adjusting line length.

 Develop launching and retrieval methods including technical kite changes. 

                   

 Develop a platform capable of open ocean crossings with speed and safety as its main  characteristics.

                    

 Develop and test hydrofoils on platform for blue water sailing. 

                   

 Expand winch development for use as a safety or back-up system for any boat or vessel. 

 

Background:

Kites have been used as a power source for hundreds of years. There are numerous advantages to kite power, such as positive healing motion and access to higher altitude winds. They have the potential to play a huge part in power-generation for vessels of any size, cutting down on fuel consumption, lowering environmental impact and increasing performance. There are however some challenges to overcome, such as launching and retrieving, flying at night and using them for long distances. These challenges will all factor into our testing and development.

 

Sponsors and Partners:

The Project received initial funding from Roy Pace, a keen speed sailor and visionary cinematographer. Without his contribution the project would still be on paper. We are also grateful to several in-kind sponsors (details to follow).

We are currently looking for a principal sponsor and partner, please get in touch.

Contact us:

For more information or to get involved, please get in touch.

james@oceankiteproject.com

+44 (0) 7766 796401