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The first flax fiber prototype to enter and complete the legendary 6.50 Transat race

News International-French

14 Nov 2011

Demonstrating the possibilities of constructing a racing boat reinforced with flax fibers, the ‘Araldite’ has crossed the finishing line in the Transat 6.50 Charente-Maritime in 15th place. This is the first flax fiber built boat to take part in and finish the legendary race.

“The going was relentless and many competitors were forced to abandon because of the extremely harsh weather conditions, but in spite of the many challenges that were thrown our way, including an energy problem that forced us to turn back to Cape Verde for essential repairs, this race has given me one of the greatest challenges of my life,” said Thibault Reinhart, skipper of the ‘Araldite’.

“We set about designing the ‘Araldite’ with the firm intention of proving the possibilities of building solid and robust racing boats from environmentally friendly natural fibers.  The idea was to bring flax fiber over to the other side of the ocean in this legendary race.  By finishing in 15th place, flax fiber has just proven its worth in naval construction and thanks to the performance undertaken, many more boats may be built with this natural fiber in years to come.  I’m very proud of the achievement and even prouder of this great boat.”

Having left La Rochelle on 25th September, Thibault Reinhart arrived in Salvador de Bahia on 2nd November after 28 days, 20 hours and 8 seconds at sea on board the ‘Araldite’. 

Sponsored by Huntsman Advanced Materials, the boat takes its name from the company’s award winning range of Araldite® products.  Huntsman also provided technical support for the project.

To develop the flax reinforced system, Lineo, a Belgium company specialising in flax reinforcements, provided the diverse fibers, specially treated to ensure perfect compatibility between the flax and an Araldite® warm curing system.

Huntsman and Lineo issued the necessary laminate mechanical properties used for designing the boat’s diverse parts.  In total, flax fiber constitutes 50% of the boat’s structure, with the remaining 50% being reinforced with traditional carbon fibers.

Araldite®, Huntsman Advanced Materials’ flagship brand, is best known for adhesives in both key industrial sectors and the consumer domain, so this sponsorship is seen as a natural link for Huntsman.



About Huntsman
Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. Its operating companies manufacture products for a variety of global industries, including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, textiles, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology, agriculture, health care, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and packaging. Originally known for pioneering innovations in packaging and, later, for rapid and integrated growth in petrochemicals, Huntsman today has more than 11,000 employees and operates from multiple locations worldwide. The Company had 2009 revenues of approximately $8 billion.

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