by Paul Larsen
Paul Larsen, project leader and pilot for Vestas Sailrocket 2, gives insight on the big day that lies ahead for himself and the crew:
Vestas Sailrocket 2
Well the big forecast is playing out. It's 1017 here and the wind is already in. Our little corner of the Walvis Bay Yacht Club is buzzing as we prepare for the big day that we know lies ahead.
This is the first big wind day we have had in over six weeks now.
Today we focus purely on taking the outright record over 60 knots.
The project has been going on a big up for some time now and we want it to continue that way. Things can easily go the other way. The day is going to pump. We used to try and use that power to punch through our glass ceilings but now we have shown that we don't need it. We are operating at around 2.4-2.5 times windspeed and a few more knots makes a big difference. The thing is that whilst we know we will have a lot more power if it's gusting up to 30... what we don't know is what the nature of our drag curve is up ahead. Is it gradual or is it another 'brick wall'?
On paper we expect cavitation to happen just over 65 knots. That's on paper. How it manifests itself is yet to be seen. This boat is damned powerful and in 30 knots, sheeted in hard with around 65-70 knots of apparent wind it's going to be one hell of a tug of war between the wing and the foil. VSR2 is being optimised for a big number. The pitch of the main foil has been reduced by 0.25 degrees, fairings have been added to the front of the stub beam (which holds the foil) and the outboard flap that controls the height of the leeward float has had its negative pitch range increased to help me keep it all on the level.
Yes I'm nervous. This is a big day.
I've already got the music ready for when we suit up.
Spiderbait, RATM, Pleasurade... that'll do it... 'Feelin' good' by Muse has already made an appearance.
Righto, let's see if we can take this to the next level.
Hopefully we will see you on the other side.
Vestas Sailrocket website