Vestas Sailrocket 2, the second-generation speed sailing boat was launched from East Cowes on the Isle of Wight on Tuesday March 8th. Paul Larsen and his team have designed Vestas SailRocket 2 to be significantly faster than its predecessor, with the ultimate aim of breaking the ‘Outright World Speed Sailing Record’.
From Paul Larsen:
Off she goes! After yet another very busy week, we have just seen the new boat on her way to Namibia. We spent the week pulling her all apart and preparing her new home in the container. She goes from being a pampered pet living indoors to being a beast of burden that lives outdoors. Walvis Bay provides so many of the key ingredients that we need, but composite boat building facilities are not one of them. We have to take it all with us.
Whilst loading up, one satisfying moment was when I noticed that one large, defiant bottle of champagne that we never got to drink sitting in the new container. It was the big bottle only to be opened when we got the outright record. It went on ice many times but survived every time. Well I'd like to think that the cork didn't feel so smug and secure when the new, bright orange hull sidled in alongside. Only one of those two items will be coming back from Namibia!
So as we prepared the container, Simon and the boys from Cosworth came in and finished putting the 'nervous system' into the boat in the form of the data-loggers, load sensors and associated displays. The two boats sat side by side in the shed. The general feeling of moving on began to envelope along with the associated feelings of sadness. We have spent 16 months working here alongside the Vestas R+D employees and they have been great. I think they too felt proud of the boat at that launch. Some of them were there when we started the first boat way back in 2002 and have followed the whole journey from the first sweep of the broom. We share a journey. I made a small plaque which we stuck in the cockpit. It says 'Redux Rocket 08/03/11' after the building where we all worked and the launch date. I got Mick, Dave and Richy to stick it on.
Here's a few pics from the last week. http://www.sailrocket.com