sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Vestas Sailrocket 2 - THAT magical mile record + Video
Vestas Sailrocket 2 - THAT magical mile record + Video

'VESTAS Sailrocket 2 at the end of the run, slowing down - Vestas Sailrocket 2'    © Helena Darvelid/VestasSailrocket

Paul Larsen of Vestas Sailrocket 2 recounts the team’s record setting speed achievement and the excitement that ensued.

Well the madness of the last weekend is calming down and we have had time to reflect a bit on what has happened.

I smile a lot these days.

Ben has been madly editing up the nautical mile run into a video and as I look at each edit and each camera angle it reminds of just what a fantastic run that was.

The 500 meter courses are short and intense. The actual 500 meter run is over in 16.4 seconds. You ride a couple of gusts and then bang, you're trying to bring it all to a halt. In my mind I'm evaluating each second and considering how it effects the average. Does this drag it up or bring it down? That's why I'm saying, 'That's fast, that's fast, that's good... this will do it'. It's my equivalent of 'one-one thousand,two-one thousand... counting seconds'. The mile... the mile is a whole different thing.

For starters the Walvis Bay speed strip is exactly 1.04 nautical miles long. It is a 'hammer head' beach between two lagoons.

You can see the magic mile of speed spot marked by the 500 meter strip here. For the mile run I start in the distant 'second' lagoon at the top right of the picture and come towards the yacht club. I run out into first 'Walvis Bay' lagoon to finish.

In order for me to hit the start of the mile flying I need to be dropped out somewhere in the exposed waters of the second lagoon. I need to get started in what is considered pretty rough water for a dedicated speed sailing boat. It's a bit like taking an F1 car off road. You can do it... but it's not ideal. VSR2 is a tough boat built to live in the real world of Walvis Bay. It's a slightly 'jacked up' F1 car. We decided to do the mile as it didn't feel very windy and I didn't think we would have good conditions for a shot at our previous Outright record. The tide was also high which meant that I could use the full mile and not be forced to stop by the shallows at the end. We had never attempted the mile with this boat so now was as good a time as any to try.

The startup procedure from a distant shore around the back of 'speed-spot' went really well. It took a long time but we got into a good position to get a run into the start of the course.

Getting lowered out in second lagoon prior to starting the mile. -  © Helena Darvelid-VestasSailrocket  
A proper small swell was running and VSR2 was rolling around as the RIB escorted me into position. My worry was that we would dip the low, horizontal wing extension between swells and do damage. Fortunately we managed to get away before this happened. VSR2 started planing quite quickly and I focused on picking up the transits to line me up with the course.

I had to ease the wing out a bit to stop from accelerating too hard. We were well positioned but had to cover a couple of hundred meters of lumpy water before we got in close to the nice flat protected water... the good stuff. I was running at 90 degrees to the swell so steering a lot to ride along the crests and choose a smooth line.

I was playing the wing to manage the speed and ... you know, sailing it like a normal boat. Whilst I was a bit worried about the risk... I was also enjoying playing with this wonderful boat in a new environment. I had to pick the point to start winding her up to speed. I know we can't hit the start at full pelt as it is just too rough but I wanted to push the whole mile hard.

I started the mile at only 38 knots. The wind had come up to near ideal design conditions so I knew that if we could get onto the course that the record would be in serious trouble. Well now we were on the course in good shape so the hammer went down. VSR2 launched quickly over 50 knots once I sheeted the wing in. I now had a glorious long minute to soak up this wonderful craft flexing her new found skills. I could see the gusts ahead on the water. The view from the cockpit is perfect. No spray. It's panoramic. The drops in speed between the gust induced lunges of acceleration weren't that big.

'This is good, that's fast, that's in the bank, this'll count...' By half way down I knew that Hydroptere was in serious trouble. We hit over 60 knots well before we went past the timing hut and camera position. The wind was registering 23-26 knots steady as we went past the Tacktick weather station.

Sailing past the timing hut with the Tacktick Wind Readout from the base station in front of the camera. -  © Helena Darvelid-VestasSailrocket  
We were hanging around the 58-60 knot mark when we got the next solid gust and flew deep into the 60's again. We peaked at 64.78 knots in this gust (74.55 mph, 120kph). The front float was sort of floating off the chop. It didn't feel like its motion was defined purely by gravity. This made me think that the rudder loads might be higher than expected. If this is the case then the beam/wing combination is too far forward and the front of the boat is starting to fly a little.

This is fast... but not ideal from a stability point of view. At times it felt like the float was 'lofting' and not just bouncing off the chop. I was coming towards the end of the course and planning my exit from the mile.

I knew by this stage that I had more than enough in the bank to bag a big average. I was entering the stage where I would start hitting the chop coming in from the long fetch of the first lagoon. At the point where I could begin turning into the wind by swinging into the first lagoon, I eased the wing and continued a long turn banging and bouncing off the chop.

Breathe. We had made it. The support RIB would be a long, long way behind. I checked the situation I was now in and made the boat stable.

VESTAS Sailrocket2 at the end of speedspot. -  © Helena Darvelid-VestasSailrocket  

That was an awesome soaking into our newfound world. The startup, the middle and the end were all just so incredible. I knew we had some big numbers sitting in that Trimble behind me. It took me a while to appreciate how intense that whole experience had been. I realised that 'That was it'. That was what I had been chasing for 10 years. Exactly that. Strapped into a wild prototype boat pushing it as hard as it will go and immersing my senses in the thrill of going at speeds that no-one had ever seen before. Yeah, that was it alright. That was the dream that fired the whole journey... and it was good. That magical mile had paid me back personally in full. Speed sailing and I are square now. Anything that comes after this is a bonus.

Get our champagne dealer on speed-dial! -  © Helena Darvelid-VestasSailrocket  

We gingerly brought the boat back in from the middle of First Lagoon and lowered the wing. Once again we came home in the dark. It was Sunday night and the town was quiet. We knew we had broken our own outright record again but had to process the data to get a feel for the mile. We were all pretty tired. We hadn't even expected to go sailing. No big winds were forecast and we were still getting over the celebrations of our first Outright record on Friday night. Saturday was a pretty dusty affair. No-one came down to the container for a long time on Sunday. We saw the data and knew that the Trimble would record somewhere around the mid 55 knot range. It turned into 55.32 knots in the end. Of course we were happy... but we had already been very happy. We knew we had to get excited again regardless of our tired state so we called Sarah... our local dealer of fine French champagne. We were very happy.

It consolidated our first run and showcased what a great boat we had on our hands. She is tough and versatile. She can handle some rough play and what's more... she is bloody efficient. The average wind as recorded on the base station was just under 25 knots. The peak gust during the run was 27 knots.

I had specified to Chris Hornzee Jones at Aerotrope that the boat and new foils must be able to do 65 knots in 26 knots of wind so that we can get 500 meter averages of 60. The way by which we have developed this boat to hit its targets is very rewarding to behold. Nice work Chris (I did remind him that 64.78 isn't exactly 65 knots. I think his reply to 'pull my head in' might have not come from an aerodynamic perspective)!

That was the perfect finish to an amazing weekend of speed sailing. Just amazing.

Alex Adams, Paul Larsen, Hiskia Sindimba, Ben Quemener, Ben Holder. -  © Helena Darvelid-VestasSailrocket  

Malcolm and George have flown in and the forecast looks weak except for Saturday which looks huge! I'm trying to write this now but am also aware that today’s wind is blowing a lot harder already than forecast. I reckon we might be saddling up soon.

So here is the video from that epic mile run. I remembered to turn on the Gopro on my helmet and we took Timan's advice from the comments of an earlier blog and strapped a small audio recording device to the front float.



Right now we are tooling up to head out again. This slick team is back in action and it's great to see. We are all getting pushed hard now as the workload the project is generating spirals upwards. I'm really impressed by how they rise to the joblist. We have pulled the boat fully apart and given her a good going over. She's ready to be pushed once more.

As a final note, I would like to thank you all on behalf of the team for the joy and encouragement you have shared in your replies to this blog. I want to reply to you all but we are a bit overwhelmed at the moment. We read them all and share the emotion of this wonderful time in our projects life. A big page has turned for Sailrocket but I can assure you that there is more to come.

Cheers!

Beach shot, nautical mile - Vestas Sailrocket 2 -  © Helena Darvelid-VestasSailrocket  

Vestas Sailrocket website


by Paul Larsen

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=104011

4:06 PM Thu 22 Nov 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet turns to avoid Ice and heads for Cape Town *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The lead boats in the Volvo Ocean Race have all turned and are heading for the finish line in Cape Town which is about four days 10hrs distant as of the 1840hrs UTC sked on October 31. The lead four boats , Team Brunel, Abu Dhabi, Team Vestas and Dongfeng are all covered by a very small distance indeed, ... [more]  

The Volvo Ocean race On Board Reporters update from the Southern Ocean on Leg 1, Day 19: Like flipping a light switch. Off to on in so much as an instant, the anticipated westerlies of the South Atlantic have finally arrived—28 knots now—and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly life onboard can change. ... [more]  

Nandor Fa and Marcell Goszleth are the first Hungarian duo to take part in this renowned double handed non-stop sprint around the world. The Barcelona World Race will be the very first real race for Spirit of Hungary, which has been designed and partly built? by Nandor Fa himself. ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica's OBR Amory Ross reports on the crew's progress as they continue to head south in the Volvo Ocean Race. The last week of sailing has been full of tactical decisions as the team decide when to head south and when to turn east towards Cape Town. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Team SCA OBR Corinna Halloran reports on day 20 for the crew. Wow; A bit of a monumental day—both literally and figuratively. Three weeks ago it was the eve of the start my friends took me for one last ice cream and I couldn’t figure out if I was nervous or not nervous. ... [more]  

Talent, passion, ability, success. All qualities that spring to mind with regard to Luke Patience, the 28 year old 470 Class silver medallist from London 2012. SSL is delighted to announce that Luke has now accepted the Star Sailors League invitation to participate in our 2014 Finals, becoming the second UK special guest star, alongside newly-crowned Finn World Champion Giles Scott. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Like in the old English tale of Robin Hood, it’s a case of taking from the rich and giving to the poor. That is what we have been seeing over the last few days. More wind just behind the leaders has allowed the middle, poorer pack to catch the rich leaders. ... [more]  

American Windsurfing Tour Severne Starboard Aloha Classic 2014 - Today we have all been treated to an incredible spectacle of windsurfing, on the second day of competition at the AWT pro bracket of the Severne Starboard Aloha Classic. ... [more]  

The International Kiteboarding Association’s (IKA) annual general meeting next Tuesday (Nov 4) is likely to debate measures put forward by the Polish Kiteboarding Association (PKA) that would effectively outlaw ram-air kites from the beginning of next year. ... [more]  

Today was the top performance day of the 2014 Chris Benz Lüderitz World Record Chase with 50+Knots performances recorded, as well as many PBs and four country records falling. Strong 25-35 knot winds were forecast for today and this proved true, however, the angle of the wind only allowed for optimal performances towards the end of the day’s racing. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Still tight at front as Roaring Forties beckon *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
According to the routing function of Predictwind, the three boats are covered by just 10 miles in terms of distance to be sailed to the finish on their optimum course, more telling is that on the same basis just seven minutes would cover the first and third boats to finish. Sail-World interviewed Team Vestas skipper, Chris Nicholson this morning - he comments in this report. ... [more]  

The Aloha Classic is the longest existing windsurfing wave event (together with Sylt in Germany). 2014 marks 30 years since the very first event and the 25th edition of the Aloha Classic. Let me rewind back to when I was a young journalist, following the evolution of windsurfing, back then windsurfing was called ‘the fastest growing sport’… ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica heads south by Amory Ross, Team Alvimedica
OBR Amory Ross reports on Team Alvimedica’s progress in the Volvo Ocean Race. It’s wild that after six days of sailing down the coast of South America we finally found ourselves pointed directly at Cape Town (going 16 knots) but all the routing indicates we’re not far enough to the south so down we go! ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Team SCA coach Brad Jackson gives his thoughts on Leg 1. 'We very much understand what the girls are trying to do and who they are competing against and if they do things well they are right up there in the mix. ... [more]  

Little Traverse Yacht Club (Harbor Springs, Michigan) won the Yacht Club Challenge in the 106th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. ... [more]  

Want to see 40 great sailing champions in action in stunning Nassau in the Bahamas? The Star Sailors League, an emerging international circuit, is offering the chance to win a four-day holiday for two people with accommodation at the luxury Atlantis resort and water park. ... [more]  

Bidding is now open in the auction to join the Volvo Ocean Race as a part of Team Alvimedica and support heart charities around the world! Team Alvimedica supporters have the unique chance to bid on two experiences that will take place at each stopover throughout the race. ... [more]  

The seventh edition of the St Barth Cata Cup is set to be thrilling. Sixty teams will go head to head aboard the last generation of F18 boats: Hobbie Wild Cat, Nacra Infusion MKII, Cirrus R, Phantom and C2. It is a high-speed, tactical, technical and spectacular discipline! ... [more]  

AWT Severne Starboard Aloha Classic 2014 - The day started early with a traditional Hawaiian blessing, welcoming everyone to the beach and setting the wheels in motion for a fantastic contest. As the ceremony continued the wind started to blow and straight after the skipper's meeting it was straight on with the pro men competition. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - After 19 days of Leg one, the leaders are still within sight of each other, something we don’t think we’ve ever seen at such a stage between Alicante and Cape Town. It’s the ultimate inshore race, staged hundreds of miles offshore. Abu Dhabi, Team Brunel and Team Vestas Wind are locked against each other with Dongfeng Race Team just 17NM further adrift. ... [more]  

The Taiwan 2014 Kitesurfing Open & Green Tourism Miaoli proved to be an interesting event for the Kiteboard Tour Asia (KTA) to get involved with at the Longfong Fish Harbour beach front in Jhunan. As the KTA had been wanting for some time to bring an event to the renowned high wind shores of Taiwan, which is famous for its windy conditions 300 days a year. ... [more]  

Best possible conditions are expected when 2014 World Championships in ISAF-class Kona One is about to start in Islamorada, Florida on Saturday, November 1. A total of 115 sailors from five continents will line up making it the largest Kona event ever. The outcome is very open with a number of high-profiled sailors with multiple international championship wins in different windsurfing classes. ... [more]  

2015 U.S. Youth Sailing Championships - The dates for the 2015 U.S. Youth Championships, hosted by Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass., have been changed to July 6-10 from the traditional second week in August ... [more]  

'It is no less important to the Commodore as air or water,' said Staff Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club Chuck Nichols. The Lipton Cup is arguably one of the most iconic regattas in the sailing community. This three-day regatta is an invitation-only event where the best sailors from around the country compete to represent their yacht clubs. ... [more]  

Year in and year out, the U.S. Disabled Championships is one of the most fascinating sailing events in the world. A strong collection of the top sailors in the country are in Galveston, Texas preparing for this week’s three-day championship, which begins Thursday, October 30 and concludes Saturday, November 1. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas back-slams both race leaders *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The Chris Nicholson skippered Team Vestas Wind, has made a big gain in the last 12 hours in the Volvo Ocean Race, and is now positioned between the two lead boats. The Danish flagged entry had been positioned to the west of the leaders, who were in the fringe of the St Helena High. ... [more]  

Last night all the American Windsurfing Tour riders, and some of the top PWA sailors, enjoyed a fantastic opening party and registration for the Aloha Classic at Adventure Sports Maui. Food, drinks, photos and lots of chat was the order of the evening, and this morning all with gather again at 9am for the official opening blessing. ... [more]  

Many know Bill Erkelens as a former rigger, team manager for the Maxi Sayonara and subsequently Campaign manager for Oracle Racing during the IACC efforts and a really good sailor with a solid Rolodex of connections in the yacht racing world. When the opportunity to manage a Volvo team arose, Bill did not hesitate, and in late 2013, the Bay Area Native accepted the roles as COO for Team Alvimedica ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica OBR Amory Ross reports on the crew’s progress in the Volvo Ocean Race. Even in the 'straight-line' sailing that has dominated the last portion of the race, the dynamic of our fleet position has been in a state of constant change. ... [more]  

Team SCA OBR Corinna Halloran reports on day 18 for the crew in the Volvo Ocean Race. We are fighting. We are determined. We are focused. Yes, today was not easy, but we did not allow ourselves to slow down-- we sailed with the conditions given and sailed at 100% performance. ... [more]  

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) published its 2015 Anti-Doping Code on Wednesday (29 October), which will apply to all Member organisations, Paralympic Games and IPC recognised International Federations, from 1 January 2015. ... [more]  

Sailing legend Sir Robin Knox-Johnston hopes to inspire greater French participation in ocean racing through his entry in the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe. 'France is a nation of sailors with excellent role models; legends in their own right,' said Sir Robin. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - The big news of yesterday was the introduction of an ice gate by Race Director Jack Lloyd. Designed to take away the temptation for the teams to dive deep south in the search for better pressure and a better angle to Cape Town. The Ice Gate is placed at 42 deg South between 20W and 10W, seen on the screenshot below. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Latest position report: Oct. 29, 0630 UTC
Optimist World Championship 2014 - Strong winds for the second stage
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel snatch lead for now
Volvo Ocean Race: Ice Gate laid in Southern Ocean on Leg 1 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Reality for Team Vestas Wind
Volvo Ocean Race: Straight-line progress continues for Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA entering the Southern Ocean + Video
Comanche ocean trials in Newport + Video
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Title race thrown wide open
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards one week away
Clipper Race - Is this the toughest job on the ocean?
PIC Coastal Classic Roundup: Almost 30 minutes slashed off record
America's Cup: Artemis Racing signs seventh Olympic Gold medalist
Pieces in place for the 2015 GC32 Racing Tour
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Behind the numbers
Volvo Ocean Race: Front runners open gap for Cape Town *Feature
AWT - PWA Finale 2014: Severne Starboard Aloha Classic - One day to go
2014 International Masters Regatta - Augie Diaz takes the trophy
Volvo Ocean Race - Supreme sailing for Team Alvimedica
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA, united by one
A big shift for Pumpkin Pursuit in Richmond   
ISAF Annual Conference to take place in Palma de Mallorca, Spain   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15: Latest position report: October 27, 1700 UTC   
Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team to race RORC Transatlantic Race   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - The search for skippers is on   
China Cup Int'l Regatta - Windier weather brings victory for Vanke   
Argo Group Gold Cup - Stena Sailing Team wins in Bermuda   
GC 32 Foiling Cat Argo sets Mount Gay Rum Around Jamestown Record   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15: Latest position report, October 27, 0630 UTC   
2014 RS:X Youth Worlds - Going out with a bang! + Video   
2015 Flying Dutchman World Championships - Winners will be Grinners!   
RenaissanceRe Junior Gold Cup - Denmark’s Christian Spodsberg wins   
Argo Group Gold Cup 2014 - Berntsson joins sailing’s elite   
Sand Flies versus Foiling Moths - Moth World Championship 2015 *Feature   
2015 International 14 World Championship - Frasch leads German team   
Ian Williams and GAC Pindar set up an exciting AWMRT finale   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg one – South Atlantic tactics   
Volvo Ocean Race: Steady run to the finish at Cape Town   
18ft Skiffs: Club Championship - Race one   
2014 Optimist World Championship - Race started with a clear day   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT