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Emirates Team NZ: Project Speed - Glenn's Diary - Week 1 - Hitting 75kts plus

by Glenn Ashby, Emirates Team NZ 24 May 16:17 PDT 25 May 2022
Emirates Team New Zealand's Glenn Ashby will pilot their wind powered land yacht, Horonuku. © Hamish Hooper / Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand's Glenn Ashby reports on the first week of testing in Horonuku, the team's 14metre long land yacht, to be piloted by Ashby, in an attempt to break the world speed record set in 2009 of 220kph/120kts for a wind powered craft.

We have just completed a successful week of testing at Whenuapai Air Base.

With the assistance of the RNZDF we have been able to run Horonuku up to nearly maximum load and complete our main structural and component checks. Out of the box Horonuku has worked extremely well and is a credit to all those involved. We have sailed in 15 - 30 knots and have been in excess of 140kph (76kts)!

The weather conditions and wind angle have not been ideal unfortunately, very gusty and shifty which has made for some tricky runs. However, we have managed to learn many valuable lessons, quickly identifying some tuning and handling issues that we can work on to improve performance.

Obviously, runways are set up (the way they are) for a reason it’s a bit like learning to sail an AC75 down a 60m wide marina arm in 15 30kts of breeze! Needless to say, space is your friend with this craft and we’re looking forward to getting it to the desert to let it breath so we can take the next steps with set up and tuning.

Our goal for the remainder of the time Horonuku will be in NZ (next week) is to implement small changes to the steering geometry and wing ballast then tow/sail hopefully on Wednesday to verify changes.

We will also adjust Horonuku to the short setting and do a series of runs on this configuration and then test with the slick rear tyres which will complete the testing phase here in NZ.

We hope to have completed all testing by this coming Friday. Obviously, being able to complete any necessary works here in NZ before our departure is very beneficial to the project.

Shipping is booked – fingers crossed we’re outta here on 9 June!

Best regards

Glenn

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