The VESTAS Sailrocket 2, sailed by Australian Paul Larsen, is now in the waters of Walvis Bay, Namibia, out to create world records. They have a new hydrofoil package which they hope will bring them the Outright world speed sailing record.
Vestas Sailrocket 2
The record currently stands at 55.65 knots (64 mph) and is held by American Kite Surfer Rob Douglas.
From its launch in the UK, VESTAS Sailrocket 2 rapidly progressed up the speed sailing ladder and after only 23 runs, hit speeds over 50 knots down the magical mile long course at Walvis Bay's 'Speed-spot'. The team then made continual improvements to the boat and tried a number of underwater foil configurations but seemed to be hitting a 'glass ceiling' in performance in the low 50 knot speed range regardless of which foil options they tried or how much wind they sailed in. It's been frustrating, but there are cracks showing in that glass ceiling.
Here, Paul Larsen, Vestas Sailrocket 2 project leader and pilot, talks about the best looking days they’ve had so far in their record attempt.
Mon, 12 Nov 12 13:33
The forecast has been good for a while and finally it has arrived. The day started in a promising way but then it just hung around for a bit. Everyone was in cruisy 'stand-by' mode. I went and did what I usually do when I want time to think, watch the wind build and generally chill out... I weeded the lawn. I wonder why I do it myself. I just find it calming and perfect for 'thinking'. I've never done any gardening in my life so odd time to start.
So it's blowing outside and we are all booted and suited. Let's see if we have the right pieces to assemble this puzzle... or are about to face-plant the glass ceiling again!
Helena will be sending tweets from the course.
I'm not getting on the emotional roller-coaster today. I'm just going to flat-line. What happens happens.
Mon, 12 Nov 12 19:14
Just in... 61 + knot peak speed and a 54. Something average. Had to stop as the end was coming up fast. Everything went into fast forward. I was saying 'This is fast, this is fast' and then she took off again... 'This is real f*****g fast'!!!
Vestas Sailrocket 2
I thought we might have bagged the outright as well... as you would after hitting over 60 knots... but the average wasn't there... I think. We haven't downloaded the big trimble yet. Everyone is getting the data down now. We broke our own PB twice today... so that's 2 x triple rum and cokes in pint glasses... and of course the 60 knot bottle of champagne also falls. Happy days.
What a great relief.
I know the current world record is toast... hell, they can even raise it a bit if they want.
Life for Vestas Sailrocket 2 starts at 60 knots. Today she walked on stage. She was beautiful to drive. Totally in control.
I got Helena to come down to the end of the course before I checked the speeds. I wanted her to be there. Unfortunately she had her phone in her drysuit pocket so that was the end of the Tweets.
Righto... lots to do.
The outright record remains to be beaten.
I'll let you all know the actual numbers when I know myself.
Happy days alright.
Nice work team... real nice.
Cheers from one beaming Australian in Namibia.
Vestas Sailrocket website