Following an extended period refining the design and testing the internal keel canting mechanism, SpeedDream27, a prototype for what will become the worlds fastest monohull, was launched and sailed off Rockland, Maine. As a completely experimental boat, there was quite rightly some anticipation as to how things would work but on its maiden sail, with the first puff of wind, the boat heeled and keel flew. It was a moment to be celebrated as it’s the first time a boat with an extreme canting keel was able to sail, as designed, with the keel completely out of the water.
'This was a great day for SpeedDream and I think for sailing in general,' said lead designer and project innovator Vlad Murnikov. 'We have taken some proven ideas, extrapolated them out, and applied them to our prototype and the result is a boat that sails effortlessly with the keel flying. I am sure that some of the experimental aspects of SpeedDream will one day be applied to sailing in general to make boats faster and more fun to sail.'
SpeedDream's skipper Cam Lewis was equally enthusiastic about the performance of the boat. 'I have experienced a dedicated group of boat builders and designers, industry partners and sponsors during the process of developing SpeedDream, all great people, talented and enthusiastic. This boat is bleeding edge technology, similar to the AC72’s in pushing some big limits in use of materials and brain power. With this project we will be able to change a small part of the world.'
In addition to the successful sea trials SpeedDream announced a strategic partnership with Yandex, one of Russia’s leading privately owned technology companies. The Yandex search portal attracts over 48.6 million unique viewers yet it’s the computing power and technology side of the company that will be most beneficial to SpeedDream as the project moves forward. Phase two of the Yandex-SpeedDream project is to build a larger offshore prototype, approximately 50-feet in length.
The innovative features such as the flying keel, narrow wave-piercing sculpted hull, and leeward lifting foil will be applied to a larger yacht and tested in a blue water environment. At that point a decision will be made on the size, scope and technical innovations of a larger record setter capable of breaking all existing monohull records.
by Brian Hancock
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2:31 PM Mon 22 Oct 2012GMT
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