In 2001, it was hard for us to imagine that we would one day be making golf shafts. Our two founders, François Mordasini and Gérard Gautier, were brought together by a passion for sport, but it was for sailing and not golf.
Mordasini was an experienced businessman, while Gautier was a renowned sailmaker. What they shared was a dream to win the America’s Cup. They believed they could achieve their dream by creating a new technology, one that would shape the future of America’s Cup yacht racing. And in the end, that’s exactly what they accomplished.
Mordasini and Gautier envisioned a radically different type of sail for America’s Cup sailing yachts: one that was drastically thinner, lighter, stronger, and more responsive than the industry standard. This would require two key innovations. The first was identifying the best fiber for their sail. The second was creating the technology that would allow them to transform their fiber into a complex, three-dimensional shape with flawless precision.
With a substantial investment from Alinghi, a Swiss competitive racing team, our company was born. In the coming years, we went on to experiment with countless new fibers for sailmaking. We tested everything from Kevlar to Zylon to Dyneema, but our research and development ultimately led us to carbon fiber as the best choice. Using carbon fiber, we were able to produce the thinnest and lightest carbon fiber material the world had ever seen.
Just as importantly, we developed a design software that was smart enough and powerful enough to measure the behavior of thousands of carbon fiber plies. We used it to determine the optimal position for performance, and then we created an automated manufacturing technology that allowed us to shape our carbon fiber into high-performance sails. We called it 3Di Thin Ply Technology.