Bluegame unveils revolutionary BGH-HSV hydrogen support vessel


On the occasion of the Cannes Yachting Festival 2023, Bluegame, a brand of the Sanlorenzo group, unveiled the BGHHSV (Hydrogen Support Vessel) scale model, while at the Genoa Boat Show the first unit of this innovative boat was exhibited ashore.

The purpose of BGH-HSV (Hydrogen Support Vessel) by Sanlorenzo is to serve as the chase boat for two of the five challengers to the next America’s Cup, which is scheduled to take place in Barcelona in the 2024 autumn. This is therefore the support boat that follows the very fast AC75s, sailboats that fly on foils at speeds close to 50 knots, occasionally overtaking them.

A mandatory support boat

As the rules of the America’s Cup are set by the Defender (together with the challengers’ representative, the Challenger of Record), Team New Zealand established not only which kind of boat to sail, but also that every team should have a support boat which would be fast enough to follow an AC75 and at the same time powered by an electric motor with hydrogen fuel cells, in order to achieve zero emissions. Team New Zealand designed and launched its boat in record time.

A technological challenge

New Zealanders’ not-so-hidden aim was to sell the design as well as the construction of the chase boat to the challengers, exactly as has happened with the AC40s, the one-design sailing yachts that have raced the two preliminary races and will be used for the Youth and Women America’s Cup. While this innovation may boost the New Zealand marine industry, the challengers did not turn to ETNZ for the hydrogen boat. There is great interest around that one of the most well-known Made in Italy yachting brands has chosen to engage in this technological challenge, demonstrating the Sanlorenzo Group’s determination to pursue its sustainability strategy.

Hydrogen propulsion

The BGH project proved to be an extremely complex challenge in many respects, undertaken together with the New York Yacht Club American Magic team, Challenger in the 37th America’s Cup. Designed in accordance with the Protocol’s requirements, the chase boat is a 10m foiling boat with only hydrogen propulsion, which can reach a speed of 50 knots and a range of 180 miles. To ensure the project’s success, Bluegame relied on a team of professionals with long experience in the Cup world.

Cutting-edge solution

Strong in know-how related to structures and composites, foil design, and the management of software controlling the trim of these flying boats, the team has developed a cutting-edge boat in many respects: design, aesthetics, and sustainability as it is a zero-emission boat. The challenger from the New York Yacht Club was also joined by the French Orient Express Racing Team. BGH-HSV, presented on a smaller scale during the announcement, was dressed in the colors of the Orient Express Racing Team. The cooperation with this team is a further recognition for Bluegame, underlining its design capability in the field of advanced technology and sustainability.