Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik 2022 Choice of Champions LEADERBOARD

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

by Emirates Team New Zealand 10 Jul 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

Project Land Speed heads for the salt lake
Horonuku's first speed run on Lake Gairdner is expected in the coming weeks. Not someone that enjoys idle time, it has been an agonising month of waiting for the moving waters of Lake Gairdner to evaporate for Land speed pilot Glenn Ashby. Posted on 23 Sep
Emirates Team NZ's new base is blessed in Auckland
Ahead of the team's move and start of sailing at Wynyard Harbour Preparations continue with the commissioning of the "new" Emirates Team New Zealand base in the Wynyard Harbour, ahead of the team vacating their current base in the former Viaduct Events Centre. Posted on 13 Sep
Project Land Speed goes on 'temporary hold'
Glenn Ashby gives an update from Lake Gairdner as Project Land Speed goes on "temporary hold" A lot of the lake is now dry, but not all of it. What does it mean for Project Speed? Glenn gives an update from Lake Gairdner. Posted on 16 Aug
Project Land Speed: Horonuku arrives in Australia
Horonuku has arrived safely in Australia, clearing customs this week in Adelaide Horonuku has arrived safely in Australia, clearing customs this week in Adelaide after its journey via sea from Auckland over the past month or so. Posted on 5 Aug
Project Land Speed: Pod power explained
ETNZ's Tim Meldrum explains how the pod is used on Horonuku to optimise righting moment Emirates Team New Zealand's Tim Meldrum explains how the pod is used on Horonuku to optimise weight carried depending on the windspeed. Posted on 30 Jul
Emirates Team NZ designer wins Women's WASZPs
Elise Beavis was crowned Women's WASZP World Champion at the WASZP International Games in Lake Garda Emirates Team New Zealand designer Elise Beavis was crowned Women's WASZP World Champion at the Waszp International Games in Lake Garda, Italy. Posted on 18 Jul
Project Speed: Waiting is best, patience is a must
Constant evaluation and adjustments of plans are essential to the success of the overall objective With a project as highly contingent on weather and conditions as the Emirates Team New Zealand wind powered Land Speed World Record attempt, constant evaluation and adjustments of plans are essential to the success of the overall objective. Posted on 15 Jul
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ on the move
America's Cup champions to shift to new base in September on extended lease Emirates Team New Zealand confirmed today that the team has signed a lease of the former INEOS Britannia team base on Wynyard Point from Auckland Council and intends to have moved in by the end of September this year. Posted on 6 Jul
Project Speed: Certifying the record checklist
World records are not broken every day, nor are they ever easy to achieve, but they must be For Ashby, as the pilot at record breaking speeds that will need to exceed 202.9km/h, his control is not much more than a two finger operation on a lever, some foot pedal pumps and some small steering adjustments.. Posted on 2 Jul
ETNZ Project Speed: Ashby's Update -Testing ends
New Zealand-based testing program of Horonuku at Whenuapai Air Base - Phase 2 is complete! New Zealand-based testing program of Horonuku at Whenuapai Air Base - Phase 2 is complete! With the wonderful assistance of the RNZAF we have been able to sign off on the many pre-designed configurations and tuning of the main components of the yacht. Posted on 31 May
Zhik 2022 Choice of Champions FOOTERArmstrong-A-Wing-728x90 gif BOTTOMMarine Resources 2022 Salary Survey FOOTER