"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
If you had the chance to go on an adventure, where would you go? What would you do?
For the Kahuna team, it's conquering some of the world's highest peaks and sailing through the wild, vast sea to discover uncharted territories. They know it won't be easy, but their innate passion for adventure brought them together to face their most daunting challenge to date — not only to test their limits but to share their experiences, both good and bad, for everyone to see.
Meet the 4 CentraleSupélec engineers behind Expedition Kahuna, who have set off to ride the unpredictable waves of the North Sea to reach unexplored Svalbard.
Robin Villard, 22, is the team’s freestyle snowboarder. Hailing from Lyonnais, he’s known for his dynamism and strong determination. Earning his boating licence, learning to fly a drone, and mastering the splitboard — all within 3 months — is proof of his fierce commitment to succeed in the journey.
His credo: Une journée n'est bien remplie que si l'on y a fini à l'agonie (A day is only as good as its end in agony)
Quentin Lustig, 23, also from Lyonnais, is the Le Grand-Bornand rider of the group. High-speed runs on the slopes and ski backflips are among his favourites, and he's always up for a bar jump when the moment arises. In addition to his skiing skills, he’s also a brilliant videographer, ensuring every wave they ride and summit they conquer are documented in detail.
His credo: Dré dans le pentu (Straight down the slope)
Baptistin Coutance, 22, from Toulousain, is the team’s seasoned mountaineer who loves conquering challenging terrains. From ridge runs to glaciers and steep slopes, whether in slippers or crampons, his versatility makes him an excellent climbing partner.
His credo: Monter peu, descendre raide (Climb little, descend steeply)
Yvan Lazard, 22, also from Toulousain, is the team’s sailing expert. He’s been a sailing instructor for 5 years and is now a professional skipper, bringing valuable expertise to a team that will be at sea for 5 months. He also conquered steep climbs at an early age — his first ascent was 4,000 feet at age 10 and 6,000 feet at age 15.
His credo: La saveur d’un plat se mesure à la quantité de gruyère mise dedans (The taste of a dish is measured by the amount of gruyere cheese put in it)
In partnership with CentraleSupélec's Industrial Engineering Laboratory, the team will use their engineering skills to create a dashboard to manage the boat's energy consumption and assess how it performs throughout the 5-month journey. The team will also produce a detailed environmental report to strengthen ecological awareness.
CentraleSupélec is one of France's leading engineering universities, established in January 2015, following the merger of 2 esteemed institutions — École Centrale Paris and Supélec.
Offering unparalleled education in Engineering and Systems Sciences, it's amongst the best universities in the world, with a network of 35,000 active graduates, 3 international branches (China, India, and Morocco), and 5 associated international laboratories (Brazil, Canada, United States, and China).
In September 2018, CentraleSupélec revamped its engineering training programme to align with its primary mission of producing engineers who will change the world. Its engineer-entrepreneur training programme aims to prepare engineering students to meet the significant scientific, technical, economic, environmental, and societal challenges of the modern world.
We'll be following Kahuna's journey every step of the way, so stay tuned for updates!