Please select your home edition
Edition
Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

Project Speed: Wet lake causes programme to slide back by a few weeks

by Emirates Team New Zealand 10 Jul 2022 03:57 PDT 3 July 2022
Glenn Ashby with Horonuku after the land yacht was revealed in Auckland © Emirates Team New Zealand

It would come as no surprise that a lake would normally have water in it. But what is surprising is that Lake Gairdner, the usually bone dry salt lake in South Australia, currently has a somewhat inconvenient amount of water in it.

About 50mm of water right now according to Emirates Team New Zealand Land Speed Pilot Glenn Ashby who has just been to see the lake first hand in preparation for the set-up of the World record attempt.

It may seem like a show stopper for the World Record attempt, but 50mm of water is actually a positive thing for the eternal optimist Glenn Ashby. “Three weeks ago the lake had 120mm of water in it. So we are definitely trending in the right direction. For sure this does slide our programme back by a few weeks, but nothing that I am too concerned about right now. We just need to be a bit patient”

Emirates Team New Zealand Meteorologist Roger ‘Clouds’ Badham has been monitoring the lake, the weather and atmospheric conditions for months now and expects to see the rates of water evaporation continue to increase. This time of year it is normal to see around 100mm of water evaporation each month and as the months clock closer to summer this will only increase. Over the coming months, winds expected are also expected to increase, with September and October the windiest months of the year in the location.

Fresh to strong winds are precisely what is needed to propel Horonuku to its World Record breaking speeds.

On the ground up to his ankles in water, Ashby further explained, “This situation we are in now with water on Lake Gairdner is extremely abnormal and rare historically - it’s like a usual sailing regatta where ‘the conditions are never like this’ as they say.

But the water that is on the lake now is a result of a massive rain event months ago. We have seen a huge amount of rain in Australia this year- even this week in Sydney. So it’s all very out of the ordinary, but we are tracking it and hope to be out on the Lake setting up next month and getting ready to let Horonuku fly at the first opportunity we get.”

Aside from the water, the other interesting thing for Ashby is the surface of the salt, currently under the water, which could prove to be either a help or a hinderance to the world record attempt, “The surface of the salt now is just really smooth. There’s not many imperfections, which is great, but it has these little layers of salt almost like broken glass. If you were walking in bare feet at the moment, you would absolutely cut your feet to shreds. So, I'm not really sure what that would do to the tyres of the land yacht. It might provide really good grip and traction, or it might chew the tires out really quickly. So, when this surface eventually dries out, we'll be able to get the land yacht out on the surface and see what the effects are.”

And so with the latest update from Lake Gairdner, the well-rehearsed wider Land Speed team back at base continue to tweak timelines, plans, and work lists for the people involved. Horonuku and the containerised workshops are days away from port in Adelaide and Pilot Ashby keeps chomping at the bit to get out sailing on the (dry) lake.

Full NALSA regulations for speed record attempts can be read nalsa.org/Sept_News/spdreg.html

Related Articles

Kiwi Women and Youth teams get AC40 workout
Emirates Team New Zealand's Youth and Womens sailors had a challenging three-hour workout on Tuesday Emirates Team New Zealand's Youth and Womens sailors had a challenging three-hour workout in fresh conditions on Auckland's Waitemata Harbour on Tuesday. Posted on 27 Mar
Cup winners donate new Elliott 7 fleet
Emirates Team NZ give RNZYS new Elliott 7 ten-boat fleet, existing fleet goes to Bucklands Beach YC In addition to the new Elliott 7 fleet, ETNZ will donate $500,000 to the RNZYS International Sailing Fund to ensure world leading sailing opportunities on the international stage are available for RNZYS membership moving forward. Posted on 5 Mar
Emirates Team New Zealand win in Jeddah
A dramatically tough America's Cup Preliminary Regatta Emirates Team New Zealand have won a dramatically tough America's Cup Preliminary Regatta Jeddah presented by NEOM. Posted on 2 Dec 2023
Emirates Team New Zealand dominate on day 2
To qualify for match race final in Jeddah The story of the day was Emirates Team New Zealand again being dominant winning two races, as well as second place which was enough to secure their place in tomorrow's match race final with two fleet races yet to race at Jeddah. Posted on 1 Dec 2023
America's Cup champions go commercial
ETNZ technology spin-off to focus on bringing Cup technology to high-tech commercial projects Emirates Team New Zealand has announced the launch of the Design Works, a technology spinoff that will focus on bringing America's Cup expertise to high-tech commercial projects. Posted on 2 Nov 2023
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ Boat Operations
Emirates Team New Zealand provides an inside look at their On-water Operations Team Emirates Team New Zealand provides an inside look at their On-water Operations Team, now based in Barcelona. Posted on 10 Aug 2023
America's Cup Strong Youth and Womens Squads named
Emirates Team NZ have announced very strong squads ahead of the Youth and Womens America's Cups Emirates Team New Zealand have announced a very strong shortlist of 16 sailors that will trial for the respective Youth and Women's America's Cup teams later this year. They include current World champions, and Olympic medalists. Posted on 7 Jul 2023
Emirates Team NZ to purchase fleet of 10 Elliott 7
Emirates Team New Zealand is directly investing in the future of New Zealand's world class sailing Emirates Team New Zealand is directly investing in the future of New Zealand's world class sailing talent by purchasing a renewed fleet of ten Elliott 7's yachts for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's Mastercard Youth Training Programme. Posted on 18 May 2023
ETNZ recruiting for Youth and Women's AC teams
Your chance to be part of the world's top professional sailing team for the Youth and Womens AC. Emirates Team New Zealand are putting out a wide call for the country's best Women and Youth sailors to come forward to apply to represent Emirates Team New Zealand, the RNZYS and New Zealand's Women and Youth America's Cup teams. Sign-on here. Posted on 11 May 2023
Join the crew aboard Emirates Team NZ's AC40
Join the crew aboard Emirates Team NZ's AC40 on this just-released 360 degree video Join the crew aboard Emirates Team NZ's AC40 on this just-released 360 degree video Posted on 31 Jan 2023
Cyclops Marine 2023 November - FOOTERSOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90 BottomMySail Skipper