Bluegame and American Magic
It will be the most technologically advanced boat of the market. And, above all, zero emissions. The future has arrived and it speaks Italian. The agreement between Bluegame, a Sanlorenzo Group brand, and American Magic marks a turning point in the boating industry. An epochal step for the sector that has its origins in sailing, and more precisely in the America’s Cup. Yes, because the Ameglia-based boatyard will produce the chase boat for the team that will race under the colours of the New York Yacht Club.
Bluegame: a foil-equipped multihull
Not just any boat, but a foil-equipped multihull powered by a hydrogen engine capable of flying over the water at 50 knots. In short, something never seen before. “The key passage was the new protocol and, more specifically, the chapter that obliges each team to equip itself with an innovative, fast and sustainable chase boat, and for the construction of which external companies could be called upon. By the time I had finished reading I was already in front of the computer writing an e-mail addressed to Massimo Perotti (President of the Sanlorenzo Group ed.) and Carla Demaria (CEO of Bluegame ed.) to bring this extraordinary opportunity to their attention,’ says Luca Santella, Head of Product Strategy at Bluegame.
A perfect project for the Road to 2030
Said and done. In a short time the go-ahead was given . “A project,” adds Carla Demaria, “that is fully in line with the Road to 2030, the Sanlorenzo Group’s strategic vision in which themes such as technological research and sustainability are central and guide product development today. And if in the automotive sector it has already become an imperative, in the future the transition towards sustainable mobility will also play an increasingly important role in the boating industry. But with a substantial difference in terms of approach, at least in the case of Bluegame, which has chosen to take this step not because it is obliged to but because it believes in it.
Of course, the chase boat is an extreme project, but there is no doubt about the important spin-offs in terms of innovative solutions that will benefit the Sanlorenzo Group’s product ranges in the future. To understand the extent of this, one only has to look at what happened in Formula One with the kers, the recharging system adopted on single-seaters that, from the world of competition, has gone on to equip the hybrid cars in circulation today.
The Formula One factor
Staying on the subject, the Formula One factor in particular, and the automotive factor in general, will be of crucial importance in the next America’s Cup. An arena in which there are teams and brands such as Oracle Racing Red Bull present alongside Alinghi; Mercedes AMG Petronas partner of Ineos Britannia; Pirelli once again together with Luna Rossa, and Toyota with Team New Zealand. A sporting challenge whose scope in terms of technology gives added value to Bluegame’s presence alongside American Magic.
Bluegame and the American challenge
At this point one wonders why the choice has fallen on the American challenge. “We initially knocked on Luna Rossa’s door but realised that they had already moved in another direction. Thanks to my background as a professional sailor and my connections, I contacted Tyson Lamond, Chief Operating Officer of American Magic. We hit it off immediately and after five meetings we signed the contract. From the next day we set off and in 60 days we prepared an articulated project and a feasibility study going into all the individual aspects,’ Santella says.
First test scheduled for 2023 summer
The aim is to get the boat on the water a year before the America’s Cup starts. The first water tests are scheduled by next summer. The team assembled by Bluegame is highly respectable and has a strong Italian connotation. The team working on the project includes companies with an important history in the America’s Cup such as Caponnetto-Hueber; Schikler Tagliapetra; Fa.Ro. Advanced Systems, which already has an America’s Cup victory to its credit in 2017 with New Zealand; Cariboni.
These are joined by other excellent names such as Lucchi R. a company specializing in the production of state-of-the-art electric motors, and San Giorgio Marine where she will be physically built. But the question is: what will this chase boat be like? And here Santella’s eyes light up. “It will be like sailing but with a motor boat. One thing is enough: 200 miles of range. Yes, the hybrid, the electric are valid solutions, but it is on hydrogen that the game is played. There is no other technology capable of ensuring such a range and operational continuity.
The beginning of a new era for Bluegame
It is the beginning of a new era in the history of Bluegame. ‘Daring the unbearable,’ comments Carla Demaria. “We have demonstrated this by presenting the BGX, an unconventional project that will soon be followed by the BGM, a product destined to revolutionize the multihull concept. In the future it will be the turn of the BGF where the ‘F’ stands for foils.
Less extreme than American Magic’s chase boat, the new range will bring with it a series of innovations never before seen in the nautical field. “When someone asks us what the secret of our success is, the first answer we give is the power of ideas. Certainly investments are an important component, but on their own they do not pave the way to achieving important goals,” concludes Carla Demaria. And, we add, they make Bluegame fly ever higher on the wings of innovation.