Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Sailrocket 2 - She sails!

by Paul Larsen on 8 May 2011
SailRocket 2 Vestas Sailrocket - copyright http://www.sailrocket.com

Vestas Sailrocket 2 and her team, headed by Paul Larsen, is in Walvis Bay, Namibia attempting to break the Outright World Speed Record.

Larsen reports on May 6th VSR2 happenings.

In the greyest of days, Vestas Sailrocket 2 headed across to 'speed-spot' with her wing sail in place.

All the little systems, struts and pulleys were in place to get her to the 'arena'. These were all the details I have been thinking about behind the scenes since the boat was first envisaged. When we talk of the design and look at the big issues, in my mind I also have all of these little, real world issues that I know are can carry equal priority in the big picture. I love to see this prior attention to small details pay off. Now they are in place and I know they will work. The boat looks good. It feels good. It's already getting slick.

VSR2 sits at a strange angle when we tow it. Nothing that worrying as she is so high out of the water. She doesn't tow 'true'. By this I mean that she doesn't tow in the direction of her hulls. This is because she is 50-50 plane and boat and when you tow her backwards across the course.. she just finds a place to sit somewhere in the middle... and that is sort of a big, 'grey' nowhere zone. No problem... just weird.

We got across to speed-spot and headed for the shore next to the two timing huts. Everything has to be evaluated. Do we pull her up on the shore or just stick the forward rudder in the sand and let the rest pivot around it?

Damn... I could just go on and on about all these aspects as they fascinate me. Every day you get to see all this great stuff come together... and come alive. It's pretty cool and I love it all.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
We had so much to learn today. It was grey, the Walvis Bay fog bank had come to town... but the wind was steady and perfect for what we wanted to see.

Overall the boat handled exactly as I expected it to. There was no magic where we escaped any of our weaknesses, but equally, the systems we had in place to deal with them were effective.

We could easily hold the boat on station either on the shore or behind the RIB and could spin her around as we pleased.

She sat stubbornly head to wind with the beam raked in her aft-high speed configuration... but began to sail down the course when we raked the rig forward.

The foil went up and down and the lock engaged. The different sections of the wing did their jobs and showed us where they needed greater control.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
Yes, we got sailing under our own steam from a standing start... albeit only in a mucshy manner at around 4 knots. The fact is that she probably won't be able to unstick from the water until we have much higher winds so this is no worry.

She looked bloody fantastic and gave me confidence. I know that in these mild conditions that this sense of confidence can be false... but once again, we learnt a lot, will improve the boat and come back out again.

So we put her away in one piece and all felt great about it. We appreciate these milestones and consider them Champagne worthy. Vestas Sailrocket 2 got her second bottle of Pol Roger champagne poured across her funky bow.

We will make some changes and try and head out again tomorrow.

She sails... WOOHOO!

Thanks to everyone who has helped. I take time on days like this to appreciate what I am fortunate enough to be in the middle of. I am highly aware of the help our project has relied on and there are times when in my mind, you are all there. You know who you are.

Today was a good day.

The 10-knot bottle of champagne awaits.

Cheers, Paul.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]

Thu, 5 May 11 11:07

The weather is pretty messy here right now with thunderstorms coming from all directions. As I sit here tapping away in the container, the rain is pouring down outside and thunder is rumbling around outside. I came down in the middle of the night last night due to the onset of strong winds when normally things quieten down. We were awoken by the house dog whimpering outside due to the thunder.

It's all very unusual.

Vestas Sailrocket 2 sits calmly outside patiently awaiting her first sail. To me she looks ready for it. On the launch day she loked pretty but I knew there were a heap of jobs that still needed to be finished... or even started just to make her remotely ready for sailing. Some of those could only be done once she was in Namibia and the nature of the problem was properly understood. Well, now she is ready... and I am happy.

We have a good team here. It's a real luxury (now it's REALLY raining). I just sent them off on a desert trip as one of the local tour companies does tours in 8-10 BMW X5 4x4's. They often need delivery drivers to take the cars out to meet the guests. It's a great way to get out there and slide around in some pretty cool cars and a nice break from the non stop job list since they arrived. I wouldn't say that the days are hard here but we do go to bed pretty tired. We are on site all day every day but work at our own pace. If we get here early and get the jobs done... and the wind is good around sunset... then we all gear up and hit speed-spot on the wind and kite surfers. The boat takes all priority but then large aspects of the program are weather dependent. You have to take your chill time when you can as the wind machine can turn on and anything can happen thereafter.

So, there isn't a great deal to report until we get to go for our first sail. We were hopng to get out yesterday but we had weather like we are having now... well, not quite this weird.

As soon as things settle, we will be out there. rest assured that no one wants to more than us.

Cheers, Paul.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzweJpAotVs


Vestas Sailrocket 2 website

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]
North Technology - Southern SparsProtector - 660 x 82Barz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

Cruising Club of America names annual award recipients
The Cruising Club of America selected Michael J. Johnson (Santa Fe, N.M.) to receive Club’s Blue Water Medal for 2016 The Cruising Club of America (CCA) selected Michael J. Johnson (Santa Fe, N.M.) to receive the Club’s Blue Water Medal for 2016, awarded for his extensive cruising for over 40 years, covering more than 125,000 nautical miles and including an east-to-west circumnavigation below the five great southern capes.
Posted today at 4:02 am
JJ Giltinan 18ft skiffs - LIVE Coverage of Race 3 On NOW
Catch the latest race of the JJ Giltinan Trophy for the 18ft Skiffs, sailed on Sydney harbour. Catch the latest race of the JJ Giltinan Trophy for the 18ft Skiffs, sailed on Sydney harbour. Great coverage from the very knowledgeable team on the Camera Cat, including commentary from Peter Shipway, Bob Killick and Andrew Buckland.
Posted today at 3:41 am
Les Voiles de St. Barth - VORs in the spotlight
With curtain set to rise on Les Voiles de St. Barth in just over six weeks no fewer than 57 boats signed up for event With the curtain set to rise on the eighth edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth in just over six weeks (10 to 15 April, 2017), no fewer than 57 boats are already signed up for the event. Among these will be an impressive and rather unique fleet of Volvo Ocean Race boats, including both VOR 60s and VOR 70s.
Posted today at 3:05 am
Unreal acts of seamanship
It was a pleasure to watch Kiwi Conrad Coleman cross the finish line to complete his Vendée Globe. It was a pleasure to watch Kiwi Conrad Coleman cross the finish line to complete his Vendée Globe. He lapped the planet without using any kind of fossil fuels; just wind and solar to power an array of instruments as well as the all important (and power hungry) auto-pilot.
Posted today at 12:11 am
Vendée Globe – Slow down, you move too fast
The Dutch skipper has been forced to slow down to attempt to let the gales move away ahead of him in the Bay of Biscay. After the arrival of five skippers last week, there are now only two left at sea this morning: Pieter Heerema and Sébastien Destremau. The Dutch skipper has been forced to slow down to attempt to let the gales move away ahead of him in the Bay of Biscay.
Posted on 27 Feb
Vendée Globe – Why Pieter Heerema has to wait a little while longer
The Dutch skipper has less than 600 miles to go to reach Les Sables d’Olonne but is not likely to finish before Thursday The Dutch skipper has less than 600 miles to go to reach Les Sables d’Olonne, but is not likely to finish before Thursday, when he is expected to take seventeenth place
Posted on 27 Feb
11 boats to race the first ever GC32 Championship
Paul Kohlhoff, who represented Germany in the Nacra 17 catamaran at Rio 2016, is skippering SVB Team Germany Land Rover BAR Academy announced its squad for the 2017 season today. Like last year, the crew here is unusually being led by its bowman, in this case with former shorthanded offshore sailor, Rob Bunce, taking over from Neil Hunter, who has graduated up to the Land Rover BAR America’s Cup sailing team.
Posted on 27 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 – A totally unique race
Close to 900 sailors from 30 different nations competed in the ninth edition of the RORC's classic offshore race. The 2017 edition will be remembered for highly competitive racing throughout the fleet, with American yachts winning the major prizes. The race was affected by unusual weather conditions, with a low pressure system sending the wind direction spinning through 360º of the compass.
Posted on 27 Feb
Land Rover BAR Academy with big ambitions in Extreme Sailing Series
Land Rover BAR Academy today becomes the final team to join the line-up for the season opener in Muscat Land Rover BAR Academy today becomes the final team to join the line-up for the season opener in Muscat, as it launches its second campaign in the world's leading global Stadium Racing circuit.
Posted on 27 Feb
Oman Air crew eye podium finish in inaugural GC32 Championship
Oman Air will kick start their 2017 season in style as top-class sailing teams from across the globe converge on Muscat A new-look Oman Air will aim to kick start their 2017 season in style as top-class sailing teams from across the globe converge on Muscat, Oman, for the first ever GC32 Championship this week.
Posted on 27 Feb