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Marine Resources 2022 Salary Survey

Project Landspeed: Wetted lake surface restricts any sailing again.

by Emirates Team New Zealand 16 Oct 2022 04:27 PDT 11 October 2022
Hurry up and Wait - Project Speed has no option but to wait for the rain to evaporate from Lake Gairdner and expose the salt pan © Emirates Team NZ

The creep of water was accompanied by the creep of frustration on Lake Gairdner for Glenn Ashby and the land speed team as near perfect winds blew across the wetted lake surface restricting any sailing again.

“Unfortunately, again we're greeted with a really super thin layer of water pretty much across the whole lake surface.” Ashby explained.

“The craft is ready to go. The boys are all ready to go. We've got really good breeze forecast for this afternoon, but unfortunately with that bit of rain the surface is not going to be ideal for us.”

Due to the large catchment area that is Lake Gairdner, just a few millimetres of rain can be swiftly moved into a small area resulting in a compounding depth too deep to get out on the lake.

With the knowledge that the water can move on as fast as it arrives, the team are utilising every spare minute to continue to improve and prepare for the opportunities when they present themselves.

“It would be good to be out in the lake now, but as always, when we're back on shore, there's always stuff that we can do.” said Dan Green “With the couple of runs that we have had we've collected a lot of salt inside the fairings. So we're resin coating all the fairings that have been getting the high salt content so we're hoping that the salt won't collect as much. Also it will be a lot easier to clean out those areas.”

It was a painful predicament for the team, having the best breeze yet come through the same time as the added surface water as Ashby stood visualising being at the wheel of ‘Horonuku’ in the stiff breeze. “34 knots.. 38 Knots, you'd almost be taking off now, to hook into that.”

It’s where we're looking to get to in the next couple of weeks raising the bar of performance. We've done over 150 kilometres an hour now and every few runs that we're doing we will be looking to step that up, ten kilometres an hour at a time. But it's obviously very weather dependent as to how we do that so we have to put ourselves in a position where we can have a crack at that record if Mother Nature gives us that gift.”

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