High speed crossing without the ferry


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Crossing the English Channel to France has been P&O Ferries’ area of expertise for many years now. Throughout that time it has risen to many challenges and faced down a lot of stiff competition, but, says John Hillman, the latest cross-channel innovation could just prove to be the final straw.

What is the point of P&O Ferries? Getting your car from one side of the English Channel to the other would appear to be the main reason. So it is with heavy heart that we report on the fact that a Swiss inventor has developed a car that simply, er, doesn’t need the ferry.

Passengers on board a P&O Ferries crossing to Calais may soon be witnessing the incredible sight of men such as Mr Frank M. Rinderknecht , boss of the Swiss design company Rinspeed, driving their super fast hydrofoils, simply zipping along on their way to the duty free shops of Calais without a care in the world.

Mr Rinderknecht set the Guinness Book World Record for his English Channel crossing from the British port of Dover to the French town of Sangatte in a time of 193 minutes, 47 seconds. The sight of his sports coupé whizzing along the top of the sea must have come as quite a shock to travelling ferry passengers.

He described the crossing as being like a rather perilous slalom on an Alpine piste, as he had to navigate his way between ferries and super tankers on what is one of the busiest stretches of water anywhere in the world.

So it looks like P&O Ferries can breathe a sigh of relief for now. With all the will in the world there are very few motorists out there who feel confident enough to navigate their way across such a obstacle course, especially with a couple of arguing children on the back seat. Best off sticking to the benefits of P&O Ferries’ Club Lounge for now, we say.

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Image Credit: Rinspeed

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