by Paul Larsen
Paul Larsen and the Vestas Sailrocket 2 (VSR2) crew are in Walvis Bay, Namibia chasing the Outright World Sailing Speed record.
Vestas Sailrocket 2 in Namibia
Vestas Sailrocket 2 was unveiled in March on the Isle of Wight and then packed and shipped to Namibia. Since then she has undergone a series of trial runs.
Yesterday, Sailrocket 2 effortlessly hit 30 knots. And today was even better.
Today Vestas Sailrocket 2 strolled over 40 knots to become the second '40-knot sailboat' based on the concepts of Bernard Smith.
It really was effortless.
We made some changes to the pitch of the main foil in order to help lift the rear float clear of the water and it all worked a treat. The steering was great and it all just felt smooth. To be honest I was surprised that we hit 40 knots.
We still aren't hitting the numbers of the first boat but then these are still early days. Malcolm thought that we would have ventilation problems around the high 30's and he may be right. Whilst fences would help sort that problem out, I decided to peel straight to the cavitating/ventilated section. Jeffro and Jonny were dispatched back to the container to pick up the other foil... and a bottle of Champagne. We plugged the new foil on and headed back up the course. The wind had died enough to deny us another good run with the new foil so we happily called it a day.
This is all in stark contrast to the effort we put in to getting the first boat over 40 knots. That took three years and quite a bit of trauma.
So now we need to see the new foil work. If it does then it will be an all out speed grab. The trouble is that tomorrow may well be our last day with any decent wind. Well, we will see. One things for sure though... this new boat is 'gagging' for it.
Vestas Sailrocket 2 in Namibia - champagne on hitting 40 knots
Nice one 'Barney'. This bottles for you.
Vestas Sailrocket 2 website