by Paul Larsen
Paul Larsen and the Vestas Sailrocket 2 (VSR2) crew are in Walvis Bay, Namibia chasing the Outright World Sailing Speed record.
Paul and Vesta Sailrocket 2
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.
27th May 2011. Only three days to go but wind is forecast. :
Well, it's actually four days but today is a no go as the wind is from the NW and lightish. Monday is our last sailing day as we will pack up on Tuesday and fly out on Wednesday. The winds are predicted to get into the low 20's on the next three days so we will keep pushing until the end.
Today Ben is working on adding 'fences' onto the conventional foil to prevent ventilation where air gets sucked down onto the foil surfaces at speed. With these in place we should be able to go out and really give that foil a good push to see what she can do... although we will be lucky to get the weather required to max it out.
The new high speed foil is still proving to be quite stubborn. We have managed to get it over the low speed hump of 8 knots a few times but she seems terribly draggy around 20 knots and the acceleration just fades out.
It's an interesting problem. the fact is that we were out the other day in pretty strong winds and we still couldn't get above 24 knots with this foil. I would like to have another shot at it just to try a few different techniques but I doubt we will see those winds again. I wonder if a larger rear skeg wouldn't fix the issue. One thing is for sure and that is that we will get to the bottom of it and give it the absolute best chance for success. This is only the beginning so let's see what we can come up with.
There's not much that Jonny and Jeffro can do on these days so Jonny is out windsurfing and Jeffro has hooked a kite onto one of the club Lasers and is dragging himself around the Lagoon. Poor Ben is probably cursing being a boat builder right now. I'll go get into it with him so we can knock these fences over so he can get out on the water also.
Speaking of knocking things over, I would love to knock that 50 knot bottle over before we leave.
Live from the timing hut on 'speed-spot'... it's pumping alright. 25th May 2011:
Hi all, well we are all crowded into the half sunken timing hut on speed-spot. The wind is pumping outside. We did our first run in winds gusting to 28 knots. It went ok from a handling perspective although we didn't manage to get the wing unstalled. We did get up to 21 knots with the 'wedge' foil.... but we obviously need to get a better starting sequence. I had to bare away from the beach just as she started to lift out as the acceleration wasn't as good as with the 'normal' sub cavitating foil.
Anyway, we are standing by for a slight drop as the wind is getting up to 30. I will go again if it doesn't begin to drop a bit in the afternoon. We have shown we can handle it.
Soooo... here is the video from yesterday. Helena has done a great job to film, edit and upload it (from out here on speed spot).
Vestas Sailrocket 2 website