Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Sailrocket 2 under goes modifications

by Paul Larsen on 11 May 2011
Vestas SailRocket 2 Vestas Sailrocket - copyright http://www.sailrocket.com
The Vestas Sailrocket team are at Walvis Bay in Namibia, chasing the Outright World Sailing Speed Record.

The new Vestas Sailrocket 2 was unveiled back in early March, then packed and shipped to Namibia.

Paul Larsen and his team are in the set up and modification phase.


Paul's latest news:

Malcolm arrived from the UK yesterday. After a couple of days of maintenance and modifications we hit speed-spot to add a little orange to what was otherwise a grey and colourless scene.

The wing went up effortlessly and we proceded to head up the course to try and go for a sail.

The big modifications we had made was to spend a lot more time configuring the boat as it is meant to be. Sounds easy and obvious... but there is nothing obvious about this boat. What turned out to be right, at first felt wrong. The good news was that it involved a rather drastic move forward of the beam and wing. This will make getting the boat started a lot easier. We also worked on the system to pull the beam further forward to help her even more in the start up phase. We also increased the range of the rudder and made the wing more upright. The friction in the wing bearings was also reduced to help the wing feather i.e. turn 'off' easier.

As we were towing the boat backwards up the course with the wing fully eased, I was sliding up and down the fuselage checking the fore and aft stay tensions. The whole lot goes a bit loose and wobbly when the wind is blowing from the wrong side. We are very far from being comfortable with it all.

It was as we were turning the nose of VSR2 through the wind that we literally hit a snag. The middle and lower wing sections fouled each other as they passed. The lower section is restrained so now the large middle section was also restrained. The trouble was that the wing was now sheeted on backwards and in this configuration it is not supported by the shrouds. The whole 'shooting match' pitched forward. I motioned for the RIB to yank the nose around which Jeffro duly did. The rig dived forward again. The beam bent and the wing cracked and crunched like a tree about to fall. I was sure it was coming down. There was nothing I could do but watch and wait for the bow to come around.

Thankfully it did. The shrouds picked up the load and the interference cleared itself. We took it all ashore. The part that did all the cracking and crunching was thakfully only a minor piece of fairing. Damn.... my heart was in my mouth. This feeling was supposed to be locked in a container back in the UK with the first boat.

We identified where the interference was and decided to take the boat home to double check that nothing else had been damaged by the unexpected loads and distortions.

It's now the following day and I'm happy to say that everything seems ok. We dodged a bullet there and will be out saling again this afternoon. We opened the wing right up to hopefully avoid any other foul ups. We already thought the clearance was enough but it turned out that a little bit of mast bend would close the gaps up enough at the back of the wing to allow them to foul. Once they fouled, it would increase the tendency for the mast to bend. The whole wing would lock up.

We were all very happy to be sitting in 'The Raft' later that night having a beer rather than sitting in the container with a grinder.

It's a new boat and these things will happen. We have three weeks left to start revealing the performance of the boat so are keen to sail at every opportunity. We will try and knock any risky luxuries out of the program that might jeopardise us seeing what we need to see. For now we will just lower the rig between runs until we are totally confident in its ability to feather.

We have a full team here so we are not short of hands. We are not building these boats to sell them... just to prove a point. The focus is on getting up to speed and this shouldn't be compromised... even if it requires a little ugliness along the way.

The sun is finally out and we are about to put the wing back on.

It seems that our drag 'hump' is around 8 knots. I reckon that if we can sail up to 10 knots then we can do 30 knots. Malcolm reckons we will need around 18 knots of wind to do this. It looks like we might get that today.

Fingers crossed and thumbs held.

Cheers, Paul.

Vestas Sailrocket website
Naiad/Oracle SupplierBarz Optics - Melanin LensesZhik Yachting 660x82

Related Articles

Clipper Round the World - Meet the 2017-18 crew - Greg Schey
Greg Schey is well on road to achieving that dream, after completing third of four sail training levels this week “I’ve always wanted to sail around the world. Since I was knee high to a grasshopper, one thing that I’ve always said is that’s what I want to do.” Greg Schey, a 27-year-old doctor from Swansea, Wales, is well on the road to achieving that dream, after completing the third of four sail training levels this week ahead of setting off for full circumnavigation in the Clipper 2017-18 Race this summer.
Posted today at 4:37 am
18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - LIVE coverage - Race 2 - NOW ON
Live coverage of Race 2 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in 15kts Live coverage of Race 2 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in 15kts
Posted today at 3:30 am
JJ Giltinan Trophy - More images from a funky Day 1 on Sydney Harbour
More images from Michael Chittenden from the first race of the 2017 JJ Giltinan Trophy on Sydney Harbour, Michael Chittenden was on the water for the first race of the 2017 JJ Giltinan Trophy on Sydney Harbour, sailed in a funky breeze, leaden skies and plenty of rain. Plus a 300 metre long cruise liner at one end of the course and a waka wall at the other
Posted on 25 Feb
Vendee Globe - Video of Conrad Colman finish in Les Sables d'Olonne
Scenes of Kiwi solo round the world racer, Conrad Colman taken at the finish of the Vendee Globe race Scenes of Kiwi solo round the world racer, Conrad Colman taken at the finish of the Vendee Globe race, which he completed under jury rig after being dismasted 700nm from the finish. In Foresight Natural Energy Colman became the first New Zealand sailor to complete the Vendee Globe, he also became the first in eight editions of the race to sail the entire race using only renewable energy sources.
Posted on 25 Feb
Vendee Globe - Heerema delayed by Biscay lows
With 16 boats now finished, eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. With 16 boats now finished, the eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. Until now it was the 2000-2001 edition, with 24 starters and 15 finishers, which saw the biggest number of starters reach the end of their race at the legendary South Nouch buoy.
Posted on 25 Feb
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season with major victory at RORC C600
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season off with major victory at RORC Caribbean 600 Bella Mente Racing, led by owner/driver Hap Fauth, launched its 2017 campaign season with a major victory this week, winning IRC Overall, CSA Overall and CSA 1 at the RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua; The team took home coveted RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the IRC win as well as the Bella Mente Trophy, the team’s namesake award, for being first IRC yacht to finish that is wholly manually powered.
Posted on 25 Feb
Cool drone footage of Dongfeng Race Team on the water
Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Stunning drone footage of the re-fitted Volvo Ocean 65 has been released as the team hit the water off the coast of Lisbon.
Posted on 25 Feb
49th Transpac early entry deadline approaches on March 1st
Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race is well underway Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race presented by the Los Angeles Times and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club is well underway, with 52 monohull and multihull entries from nine nations already signed up for this biennial 2225-mile ocean race, one of the world's oldest having first been sailed in 1905.
Posted on 25 Feb
18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - Replay coverage - Race 1
Live coverage of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain Replay of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain
Posted on 25 Feb
Hat-trick all around for Phaedo^3 in this year Caribbean 600
Lloyd Thornburg and crew of Phaedo^3 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class. Lloyd Thornburg and the crew of his MOD70 Phaedo^3 for the last three editions of the RORC Caribbean 600 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class.
Posted on 25 Feb