Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

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
InSunSport - NZBakewell-White Yacht DesignZhik Yachting 660x82

Related Articles

Trans-Atlantic record- Comanche sets new monohull record
Comanche has crossed the virtual finish line off the Lizard, England in her attempt to set two new world sailing records Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark's supermaxi Comanche has crossed the virtual finish line off the Lizard, England in her attempt to set two new world sailing records. She finished at 11:45 UTC on Thursday July 28,2016, having left New York on Saturday July 23, 2016.
Posted today at 11:09 am
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - France Blue blasts back
The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup race course took on a different complexion today. The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup race course took on a different complexion today. A front passed through early morning leaving behind it a lumpy sea, further kicked up by a strong eastbound tide.
Posted today at 6:09 am
52 Super Series - Double bullet Quantum jump clear
Two hard earned wins for Quantum Racing elevates the team which is steered by owner Doug DeVos Two hard earned wins for Quantum Racing elevates the team which is steered by owner Doug DeVos to a lead of four points ahead of Azzurra at the 52 Super Series’ Puerto Portals Sailing Week on the Bay of Palma.
Posted today at 5:19 am
Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Sailing into the big leagues
The long nautical journey from La Belle Province proved to be one long show of bravery from start to finish “It’s the finest event of the offshore racing calendar.” That’s what all the skippers are saying—albeit a little subjectively—following this ninth edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo. The long nautical journey from La Belle Province proved to be one long show of bravery from start to finish, with the Multi50s grappling alongside one another all the way
Posted today at 3:51 am
Three tips for any boater facing a powerful summer thunderstorm
Recreational boaters and paddlers understand that late afternoon thunderstorms are common during summer boating season Recreational boaters and paddlers understand that late afternoon thunderstorms are common during the summer boating season. A recent incident involving two TowBoatUS Fort Lauderdale captains and their rescue of four kayakers pre-fishing a local tournament offers some lessons learned on how to survive an afternoon storm.
Posted today at 3:27 am
Jim Hunt and Jørgen Svendsen pull ahead at OK Dinghy Worlds
Jim Hunt (GBR) has maintained his lead after a very tricky day at the OK Dinghy World Championships in Quiberon Jim Hunt (GBR) has maintained his lead after a very tricky day at the OK Dinghy World Championships in Quiberon, France, with the shifty, offshore winds mixing up the fleet on more than one occasion and leaving Hunt and Jørgen Svendsen (DEN) with a clear lead over the rest of the 105 boat fleet. Charlie Cumbley (GBR) drops one to third overall, with just four races left to sail.
Posted today at 2:53 am
Supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, returns to racing in Sydney-Gold Coast Race
Supermaxi Wild Oats XI, will make her return to ocean racing this weekend after a six month break. The Oatley family’s Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race record holder, the 30-metre long Supermaxi Wild Oats XI, will make her return to ocean racing this weekend after a six month break.
Posted today at 2:38 am
52 Super Series- Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Day 3 action shots
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from day three Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from day three
Posted on 27 Jul
RS Feva Worlds – Qualification phase is complete at the end of Day 2
Heavy metal day. Gold, Silver or Bronze. It was going to going to be tight at the cut off points. PA Consulting and Allen RS Feva Worlds 2016 - Heavy metal day. Gold, Silver or Bronze. It was going to going to be tight at the cut off points. A number of boats went into the day in much lower positions than expected for a variety of reasons. Could they make it up?
Posted on 27 Jul
Chile’s Clemente Seguel wins Youth North American Championship
Chile's Clemente Seguel on top with four bullets in four races. The wind didn't come in on Tuesday, leaving the results as they were after Monday: Chile's Clemente Seguel on top with four bullets in four races.
Posted on 27 Jul