Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

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

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignProtector - 660 x 82PredictWind.com 2014

Related Articles

18ft skiffs - Yamaha has second win on Day 2 of JJ Giltinan Trophy
NZ champion Yamaha team tightened the grip on the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship NZ champion Yamaha team tightened the grip on the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship with another stunning victory in today’s Race 2 of the championship on Sydney Harbour. With eyes set firmly on becoming the first New Zealand team to win the coveted crown on Sydney Harbour, David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins sailed another faultless race to win by 1m14s
Posted today at 9:43 am
Clipper Round the World - Meet the 2017-18 crew - Greg Schey
Greg Schey is well on road to achieving that dream, after completing third of four sail training levels this week “I’ve always wanted to sail around the world. Since I was knee high to a grasshopper, one thing that I’ve always said is that’s what I want to do.” Greg Schey, a 27-year-old doctor from Swansea, Wales, is well on the road to achieving that dream, after completing the third of four sail training levels this week ahead of setting off for full circumnavigation in the Clipper 2017-18 Race this summer.
Posted today at 4:37 am
JJ Giltinan Trophy - More images from a funky Day 1 on Sydney Harbour
More images from Michael Chittenden from the first race of the 2017 JJ Giltinan Trophy on Sydney Harbour, Michael Chittenden was on the water for the first race of the 2017 JJ Giltinan Trophy on Sydney Harbour, sailed in a funky breeze, leaden skies and plenty of rain. Plus a 300 metre long cruise liner at one end of the course and a waka wall at the other
Posted on 25 Feb
Vendee Globe - Video of Conrad Colman finish in Les Sables d'Olonne
Scenes of Kiwi solo round the world racer, Conrad Colman taken at the finish of the Vendee Globe race Scenes of Kiwi solo round the world racer, Conrad Colman taken at the finish of the Vendee Globe race, which he completed under jury rig after being dismasted 700nm from the finish. In Foresight Natural Energy Colman became the first New Zealand sailor to complete the Vendee Globe, he also became the first in eight editions of the race to sail the entire race using only renewable energy sources.
Posted on 25 Feb
Vendee Globe - Heerema delayed by Biscay lows
With 16 boats now finished, eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. With 16 boats now finished, the eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. Until now it was the 2000-2001 edition, with 24 starters and 15 finishers, which saw the biggest number of starters reach the end of their race at the legendary South Nouch buoy.
Posted on 25 Feb
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season with major victory at RORC C600
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season off with major victory at RORC Caribbean 600 Bella Mente Racing, led by owner/driver Hap Fauth, launched its 2017 campaign season with a major victory this week, winning IRC Overall, CSA Overall and CSA 1 at the RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua; The team took home coveted RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the IRC win as well as the Bella Mente Trophy, the team’s namesake award, for being first IRC yacht to finish that is wholly manually powered.
Posted on 25 Feb
Cool drone footage of Dongfeng Race Team on the water
Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Stunning drone footage of the re-fitted Volvo Ocean 65 has been released as the team hit the water off the coast of Lisbon.
Posted on 25 Feb
49th Transpac early entry deadline approaches on March 1st
Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race is well underway Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race presented by the Los Angeles Times and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club is well underway, with 52 monohull and multihull entries from nine nations already signed up for this biennial 2225-mile ocean race, one of the world's oldest having first been sailed in 1905.
Posted on 25 Feb
18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - Replay coverage - Race 1
Live coverage of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain Replay of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain
Posted on 25 Feb
Hat-trick all around for Phaedo^3 in this year Caribbean 600
Lloyd Thornburg and crew of Phaedo^3 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class. Lloyd Thornburg and the crew of his MOD70 Phaedo^3 for the last three editions of the RORC Caribbean 600 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class.
Posted on 25 Feb