Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring AC72

Sailrocket 2 - Near perfect conditions

by Paul Larsen on 2 Dec 2011
Vestas Sailrocket 2 Vestas Sailrocket - copyright http://www.sailrocket.com
The Vestas Sailrocket 2 crew are in Namibia attempting to break the World Sailing Speed record. They are now into their official WSSR record attempt time period.

Pilot Paul Larsen:

Walvis Bay rose to my challenge today and delivered a near perfect speed sailing day for us. This is why we come here.

Vestas Sailrocket 2 is in the best shape of her life. The whole boat is starting to feel like a finished piece and I am really happy with her.

We did three runs today. The first one we did with the conventional foil in. We have added two fences to prevent air from getting sucked down from the surface. One fence is just below the bend (transition) and one is right at the top. It felt like I got ventilation on our last outing when VSR2 went into a big bear away so we added these fences to stop this.

The first run today went well and was very smooth. All the little details were making the whole experience so much enjoyable and as mentioned, it was near perfect conditions. The new launching system meant that I got up close to the beach much sooner than previously and this makes for a much longer run. The leeward pod was flying high but I was easily able to lower it using the flap control on my left.

The run was very enjoyable. Fast and effortless. Just after the timing hut she performed her old trick again and went hard into a bear away. I put in a couple of turns on the wheel to correct it and immediately stopped the run. Hmmmm. It would seem that fences didn't fix that then.

I still managed a top speed near 51 knots and a 500 meter average around 49.38 knots. This would be a new 'B' class world record for craft with our sail area... but I'm not that interested in that. I went faster with a passenger a month or so ago. We are after bigger game here.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
Conditions were building so considering we hadn't discovered the magic to make that foil work I decided to do the ol' switcharoo over to the new ventilated 'wedge' foil. The guys had to go back to the container to collect it but in an hour or so we were back up to the top of the course and ready to roll. The start went great but even early on in the run I got this terrible noise and shuddering vibration coming from the main foil. I was only doing about 30 knots but there it was. It sort of felt like what I would assume cavitation would feel like. Not a cool or sophisticated noise... more like an engine throwing a rod! When I turned onto the course it smoothed out and the run went very well again. Once again I enjoyed it and it felt fast. Vestas Sailrocket 2 is just effortless to sail now and I can savour the speed sensation without fear. She cruises at 50 like a car down a highway.

The, just past the timing hut again, she made that horrible noise which felt like running the tip aground on concrete. The drag pulled me from 50 back down to around 30 and once again I was forced to abandon the run. This was weird. Once again I hit a peak speed around 51 knots. This really is weird. I mean with effectively three different foils i.e. conventional-no fences, conventional-fences, ventilated, we have hit nearly the identical speed in very similar winds. Maybe it's a coincidence involving many factors but either way, there it is.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
Conditions were still epic. It was just soooo flat along the shore. Gusting 28 knots and glassy in close. Pure speed sailing porn! We were so close to getting some bigger scalps than the B class record. I want to get the Australian record which is just over 50 knots and the unofficial 'Boat' record off Hydroptere which is around 51.4 knots or 2 knots quicker than my previous run. Either of those would be a nice way to finish the day. I stated the third run but once again I got that terrible draggy shudder. This time it was more persistent and I canned the run at the timing hut. I had only peaked at 30 something knots. What the hell was going on here. We went over the main foil and rudder but it all seemed fine. No obvious signs of cavitation. No damage. Basic boat settings. More Hmmmmmm.

We dropped the rig at sunset.

We have been sitting back here in the container downloading data and digesting as much varied info as we can get. We get a lot from each run. 6 High Def cameras, 1 Cosworth data logger, 3 GPS systems including the mighty Trimble used for record ratification and a Tacktick wind system with data logger. Multiply that by three runs and It's no surprise that we are still here at 10:30 p.m. having just downloaded it let alone digested it.

Funny thing is that I'm pretty happy with today. Breaking this record is like solving a big puzzle and today we got a whole bunch of clues. We did get some great data. The boat itself really impressed me. She is a real noble beast who now feels like she is trying to help us. The boys have done a great job sorting out the details on these windless days gone and I can really notice it. She's slick.

So we will digest all this new info. I already have a few things I want to querie. It appears from the masthead camera that the foil is running very close to the ditch created by the ventilating forward mounted rudder. It should be about a meter away. We have already double checked this whole aspect and remeasured it all to triple check. It seems very odd. Has VSR2 dropped into a mode of sailing that we haven't planned for and that she needs to be shaken out of. VSR1, our first boat, used to drop into a mode where she would drag sideways down the course at about 12-15 degrees. We couldn't believe it as it was still doing 38 knots. It was something you couldn't model or predict and yet there it was. Once we became aware of it and accepted it, we made the mods and began to unleash the potential.

I'm beginning to feel that there is something big we are missing here.

We are very definitely in the lab. We'll get to the bottom of this one. Two weeks to go from tomorrow. Come on Walvis, give us a few more like that.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
Vestas Sailrocket 2 website
upffront 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Michael Marshall triumphs at J/22 World Championship
With a second place finish in Thursday’s only race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are the champions. Heading into the 10th and final race, Marshall and Chris Doyle were tied on points at 30. As the 41 teams arrived at CORK in the morning, the after effects of an overnight storm left breeze in the mid-20s, so the Race Committee postponed on shore.
Posted today at 8:10 pm
Best pictures of the first 4 Acts of the Extreme Sailing Series™
An influx of fresh talent have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40. An influx of fresh talent, new venues and a revised race format have all added to the hype, but the greatest evolution is the replacement of the Extreme 40 by a smaller, faster catamaran: the flying GC32.
Posted today at 1:34 pm
Return to Russia for the Extreme Sailing Series™
Joining the fleet as the season heads into its second half is Gazprom Team Russia, led by WMRT champion, Phil Robertson. With one week to go, the fleet returns to St Petersburg for the fifth Act of the season, presented by SAP, 35 of the world’s best sailors are getting their heads in the game and preparing for the one of the trickiest venues of the season so far.
Posted today at 12:58 pm
Marshall and Doyle tied on points at J/22 World Championship
By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points By way of a victory in Wednesday’s third race, Mike Marshall, Todd Hiller and Luke Lawrence are tied at 30 points with Chris Doyle, Will Harris and Adam Burns. Jeff Todd is still in the hunt in third place with 35 points.
Posted on 24 Aug
Debriefing the 2016 Rio Olympics—Sailing news North America and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
FAST40+ Class to be the first to have honour of racing for One Ton Cup
14 FAST40+ racing yachts are expected, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the USA 14 high performance FAST40+ racing yachts are expected for the One Ton Cup, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the United States of America. The crew, of which only five can be professionals, come from countries all over the world.
Posted on 22 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club dominates Hinman Trophy Team Race
Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. 2016 Hinman Trophy Team Race - Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. This was the case for Noroton Yacht Club as they won the Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy for the second straight year, though maybe not in the way you’d expect.
Posted on 22 Aug
Drama Queen - Goransson wins Melges 32 National Championship
Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship - After a weekend of challenging, moderate conditions in Newport, RI, Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Capping a weekend full of tight racing with lead changes around the track, it was fitting that the final race had three teams fighting for the regatta win
Posted on 22 Aug