Please select your home edition
Edition
Helm Events 728x90

Vestas Sailrocket 2 hoping for big things

by Paul Larsen on 22 Oct 2012
Vestas Sailrocket 2 Vestas Sailrocket - copyright http://www.sailrocket.com
Paul Larsen, Vestas Sailrocket 2 project leader and pilot, discusses the new PB over 500 meters of 50.98 knots.

So I should be happier about setting a new PB over 500 meters of 50.98 knots. The peak speed was around 53 knots (one GPS was over, the other under). The run started perfectly and felt super steady. Having an average so close to the peak shows this. Vestas Sailrocket 2 felt great, the leeward pod was flying and the ride was smooth. Conditions were fantastic with winds between 25 and 29 knots.

I was hoping for big things but in all honesty they still didn't come. I decided to try again and reduce the inclination of the main foil even more. This would reduce the amount that the main foil pulls downwards and should allow VSR2 to ride higher.

There is still something big holding us back and it's not immediately obvious. As I was towed back up the course I pondered the fact that we had just unofficially beaten the Australian record and were within less than half a knot of overtaking Hydroptere to get the unofficial title of fastest boat. I highlight unofficial because although we used two GPS systems and are running on a well-known course, we are not using the official Trimble GPS timing system in the presence of the WSSRC who ratify these records. The numbers will be pretty close but we aren't that fussed as we are really still just developing the boat.

Whilst that last run will have generated a lot of data that should have been digested, the competitive streak in me wanted to at least knock Hydroptere off. Conditions were building over 30 knots so we hurried into another run before they got over the top.

The second launch from the RIB didn't go so well. I will explain the whole launching sequence in greater detail later but for now all I will say that there is a phase where I sheet the boat in hard and stall the wing... and this is hard work for the RIB. When the wing stalls VSR2 tries to heel to leeward and this presses the leeward float hard. Sometimes we dip the leeward, horizontal wing extension. I wait to see if it comes up with the flap still attached. The windier it is the rougher it is and it all gets a bit marginal.

Things didn't work too well on the second launch and I got stuck head to wind. I simply couldn't bear away and was risking damaging the leeward wing extension trying... so I sailed VSR2 into the beach just a few 100 meters down from where we had left moments earlier. We walked the boat back up to our launching position. Helena confirmed gusts to 34 knots and steady winds over 30. Bloody typical. You set a limit and it gives you something just over. I was desperate to go again. I wanted to drink at least that triple rum and coke in a pint glass that comes with a new best peak speed. Beating Hydroptere would be pretty nice too... even unofficially. I decided that 34 was just too high. We shouldn't even be out in that stuff. The fact we can handle her in over the top conditions is a bonus that we can call on if pushed during record attempts. After attempting to launch in these wind strengths, 25-29 knots is a doddle.

So we waited and waited. The wing was up throughout. Helena called the wind strengths in via the VHF.

Every time it would look good... we would start to think it was dropping... and then the solid 30-34 knot sections would punch through. I was going through all the usual checklists of why we should go and why we shouldn't. Logic said we shouldn't, emotions said we should. I really wanted to go.

Once again I had to concede to logic. We don't have to go, we have great data to look at, time is still on our side... and as mentioned, we shouldn't even be out there in those wind strengths. The sun set.... so we lowered the wing and came home in the dark.

I have had a quick look at the data and it all looks good. I can't see why we are still stuck under that bloody low-mid 50 glass ceiling. We still have a few things to trim out and I'm sure we can gain a couple of easy knots... but she didn't feel like a 60 knot boat today. On the other hand, it was only our fourth run with new foils so maybe I'm being a bit hard. Righto, beer-O-clock. The Raft beckons. Hydroptere can have their title for another few Vestas Sailrocket website

Southern Spars - 100Zhik Yachting 660x82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82

Related Articles

Book Wildwind Bank Holiday breaks early - and make wild savings!
If you are thinking of taking a holiday in Vassiliki over the May Whitsun bank holiday period then please read this. If you are thinking of taking a holiday at our Vassiliki centre over the May Whitsun bank holiday period then please read this. Every year, just a few weeks before the May Whitsun Bank holiday we receive a large number of rather last minute requests for our holidays on this particular week.
Posted today at 1:27 pm
Nic Douglass reports on day 1 of Quantum Key West Race Week
Like the trooper he is, Silas was on the dock to send his team off today for the first day of racing. If anyone is going to be living vicariously this week through everyone in Key West, it will be Silas Nolan, the mid-bowman for the RAN TP52.
Posted today at 11:21 am
Day 72 – Photo-finish predicted in Vendée Globe thriller
The race is going down to the wire with the leading pair of Armel Le Cléac'h and Alex Thomson split by just 78 miles Thomson has been playing catch-up since Le Cléac'h took the lead on December 2 but as the race enters its final few days he has transformed from the chaser into the hunter, ruthlessly stalking his French rival in the hope of being able to deliver the killer blow before the race is up.
Posted today at 10:41 am
Jules Verne Trophy - A welcome rest
Blue skies, sunshine, mild temperatures… It was a quiet fifth Sunday for the crew of the IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran Blue skies, sunshine, mild temperatures… It was a quiet fifth Sunday for the crew of the IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, which they used to get some rest and carry out a few odd jobs. It was slow sailing in an area of light winds off the South of Brazil, but Joyon’s men also needed to remain vigilant and react quickly to any wind shifts.
Posted today at 6:13 am
Vendee Globe - Thomson marks time with 60hrs sailing time left in race
British solo sailor Alex Thomson has improved only 10nm in 24 hours, and remains 75nm behind the race leader With around 60hrs sailing left in the 2016/17 Vendee Globe Race, British solo sailor Alex Thomson has improved only 10nm in 24 hours, and remains 75nm behind the race leader Armel Le Cleac'h in Banque Populaire V. According to the latest positions (as of 0500FR or 0400UTC) the two competitors were almost on the latitude of the finish at Les Sables d'Olonne
Posted today at 5:10 am
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 1 action-shots by Max Ranchi
Max Ranchi was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images Photographer Max Ranchi was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 1 - Race one and two action.
Posted today at 5:09 am
Quantum Key West Race Week opens with epic conditions
The comments from the first day of the 30th Quantum Key West Race Week, the City of Key West Day, were nearly unanimous The comments from the first day of the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week, the City of Key West Day, were nearly unanimous - epic sailing conditions in one of the best racing venues in the world.
Posted today at 4:35 am
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 1 action-shots by Nico Martinez
Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images Photographer Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 1 action.
Posted today at 3:47 am
Double Bullets for Platoon spells a perfect start in Key West
For Harm Müller-Spreer and his international crew on Platoon, 2017 52 Super Series is off to the best possible start. For German owner-driver Harm Müller-Spreer and his international crew on Platoon, the 2017 52 Super Series is off to the best possible start. Under clear blue skies and in a meaty 15- to 20-knot breeze, the Platoon squad handily won the first two races of Quantum Key West Race Week, the first of six events in a nine-month 52 Super Series season.
Posted today at 3:23 am
52 Super Series, Azzurra starts with a third place
Azzurra begins the 2017 season in third place after first day of racing. Platoon is in the lead after getting two wins Azzurra begins the 2017 season in third place after the first day of racing. Platoon is in the lead after getting two wins, followed by Sled. Quantum is tied for fourth place with Ran followed by Bronenosec.
Posted today at 2:59 am