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Southern Spars

Sailrocket 2 punching through 54 knots

by Paul Larsen on 20 Oct 2011
VESTAS Sailrocket 2 in action Vestas Sailrocket - copyright http://www.sailrocket.com
Vestas Sailrocket 2 and her intrepid crew continue their quest to set the outright world speed sailing record, in Walvis Bay Namibia.

Paul Larsen:

Hi all, just a quick one to say that we have punched through 54 knots, 62 mph and 100 kmh. The fun part is that we did it two up and Vestas Sailrocket 2 was far from optimally trimmed.

It was a wild ride. The day was quite unsettled but I decided to make the most of it and take Adam from Wired USA for a shot in the back seat. We have never sailed two up before. VSR2 struggled to get started but once she found her feet... WHOOSKA!

It was a crazy ride that took me...well... I'll do the full update tomorrow. I just saw the photos and they are wild. Adam had the ride of his life. In 1 ride he's been as fast as I've ever been.

This boat will do the business. It WILL beat the current world record. I know that now. The question is how much we can get out of it.

Triple rum and cokes in a pint glass are the drinks for a new best speed.

So where are we with the new foil? I don't know... all I know is that it's fast. There is so much to tell about that last full-on run.

Update to follow... everyone is sitting here madly downloading data, HD video footage and photo's... and slurping on rum. We are still sailors remember.

Cheers, Paul.

Back to the 50 knot lab... Wed, 19 Oct 11 11:54

Today is shaping up nicely as we climb into our Musto drysuits and prepare to launch Vestas Sailrocket 2 one more time. The skies and seas are crystal clear and the wind is already gusting over 20 knots as it swings into the SW where it will lock in to it's normal 105 degree TWA to the course.

Nick is flying back in from the UK but will arrive a bit late, Dave is flying out and just said his goodbyes... and Wally has been sub'd in to help out. Wally takes his work very seriously. He told us he got a sweater for his birthday... but he prefers screamers! Hurry up Nick;)

The idea for today is to do a repeat of the previous days sailing and simply collect more data points. I will also try to sail some slightly different courses to the wind to see how the foil responds under different loads... and to see how accurately the onboard wind data can record these subtle differences.

If all goes well I hope to be able to take a passenger for a ride for the first time.

Hopefully we will get some top end conditions around 25-30 to see how the boat goes then. We may be very close to a 'tipping point' for this foil where a whole new speed range will open up. It's hard to know for sure where we are at right now which is why the 'brains trust' want more solid evidence.

We have also been advised to bring the high speed sheeting angle in by 3 degrees to 7.

So back to the lab. Gotta go now.

Let's see what happens.

Cheers, Paul.

Vestas Sailrocket 2 website
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