Please select your home edition
Edition
37th AC Store 2024 - 728x90 TOP

Project Landspeed: World record just a few kmh's away - onboard video

by Emirates Team NZ 5 Dec 2022 15:20 PST 5 December 2022
Emirates Team NZ - World wind powered speed record - Lake Gairdner - December 2022 © Emirates Team NZ

After what has seemed like endless weather delays over the past couple of months, finally Horonuku got to stretch its legs on a dry Lake Gairdner with breeze that is edging closer into the required zone for world record attempts.

The promising weather forecast coupled with reports of a dry lake was enough for the Landspeed team to remobilise within days and get back to the lake to re-rig Horonuku in searing 40-degree temperatures in preparation for the expected 20+ knot SW front on Sunday evening.

Glenn Ashby and the team were poised on the lake for the wind to kick in late into the afternoon, “We could see the clouds changing and wind starting to build, which it did pretty rapidly so we were ready to go.” Explained Ashby

“The breeze kicked in and we were straight into it. The guys gave me a push start and pretty much the best breeze we saw was in the first two runs. The first run we had about 20 knots and we got up to 190km/h.”

Ashby on the helm gybed straight into his second run as the breeze got up to 22-23 knots. “Just the slightest increase in wind pressure and the speeds kept clocking up. So we were happy to be able to get over 200km/h today [S-W: The record is 202.9km/h.

That was as much breeze as we had all day but we managed to get about another 10 runs after this in what was a very stable breeze of around 17 knots for the remainder of our session.”

It was the most positive session for the Land speed team so far, not yet about timing or clocking official records but identifying obvious elements that can be improved to increase performance to be able to achieve the best speeds possible.

“The steering was tough work,” explained Ashby.

“There is constantly a lot of load on the steering so this is the main focus to identify solutions to lighten that load as this will help with performance.

From 90-95 true wind angle, which is where I am building vital speed it was really heavy but as soon as I bear away though, the steering wheel is neutralised and unloaded and goes very light and floaty. So to be able to build speed more efficiently and effortlessly will help in reaching higher speeds before the bear away.”

Ray Davies, who is also on the ground at Lake Gairdner, is clear on what the next few days sailing objectives need to be in similar wind conditions, “We probably won’t be sailing in record breaking breeze, but certainly there will be enough to get into those top end speeds, so we need to keep pushing our configurations to be getting the most out of Horonuku. Also a key element is just getting as much time as possible in that 200km/h zone that Glenn becomes more and more comfortable so when he needs to make a push to the maximum speed he can, he is not completely out of his comfort zone.”

So the constant search of performance gains continues as will the patience required for the optimal wind conditions that will provide the opportunity for an attempt at an ‘official’ world record run for the team. But for Ashby, he can take initial comfort that his new unchartered speeds in Horonuku come without too much surprise.

“It was exactly as I have been picturing it in my head and how I expected it to be at those speeds. There is plenty going on but am 100% comfortable to keep hanging on and sending it until it taps out. It is bloody awesome.”

But not nearly as awesome as it might be if Ashby can become the fastest person ever in a wind powered craft.

World records attempts must undergo a stringent verification process with either NALSA (North American Land Sailing Association) or FISLY (International Land and Sand Yachting Federation).

  • Must be sailed on a natural surface with a flat elevation within 1 metre of elevation
  • Starting only by human push start allowed for the record run
  • The record speed must be more than one mile per hour for at least 3 seconds above the existing record (>204.5km/h x 3")

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
North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTERJ Composites J/45Hyde Sails 2022 One Design FOOTER