Kites Across the Oceans

Authors: 
Pierre Fabre
Article type: 
Discourse

THE BEGINNINGS OF A NEW SAILING ERA

A millennium ago, daring Polynesian sailors made use of kites to tow their canoes between nearby islands. This was the prehistory of kite navigation, an unusual means of transportation that has not been able to show its full potential until very recent years.

As the energy crisis and global warming urge us to find alternatives to oil, high-tech synthetic materials, computer assisted steering, and satellite observation of the earth now allow for brand new developments in kitesailing.

French navigator Anne Quéméré prepares a solo crossing of the Pacific while German company SkySails gets ready to make its elaborate kite towing system a common feature on thousands of cargo ships. This is the beginning of a new era both in sports and commercial navigation, kites becoming a reliable means for powering most boats, from the smallest dinghy to the largest cargo ship.

Page Number: 
12