New 65 Knot World Speed Sailing Record
Australian Paul Larsen and Vestas SailRocket 2 set a new Outright World Speed Sailing Record of 65.45 knots.
SailRocket 2 covered the 500 metre course in Walvis Bay, Namibia in an elapsed time of 14.85 seconds.
SailRocket 2 is an inclined rig Hydrofoil Proa. The World Speed Sailing Record (WSSR) Council has confirmed the World Record.
The wind speed was reading around 30 knots when Paul Larsen started setting up SailRocket 2 at mid day on Saturday 24th November. Many thanks to Paul for his description of the record breaking run from the driver’s seat:-
‘There is not much I can do here but lightly ease the wing, turn the small rudder hard to windward and wait for the boat to lazily swing into the wind. The minute the wind attaches to the inclined rig she starts generating lift. The core stability concept kicks in and the leeward pod rips up nice and high on the water.
I had heard a 'pop' out there and figured that something was broken and the run was going to have to be abandoned. When the wing attached we accelerated pretty cleanly. I checked and double checked for damage, I expected things to be hanging in the water. They weren't. Tough boat...'
See VIDEO of SailRocket 2 breaking the World Record click on Blown Away
Paul Larsen continues, 'I had severed the outboard flap control line before this run in order to back it off as much as I could. This was an effort to get the leeward side of the boat down onto the water to reduce the heeling and increase the thrust.
The flap was just bouncing around as the pod jumped off the chop. We were actually pretty well placed course-wise and the rudder had attached flow. I sheeted in hard. The rear skeg was kicked up hard. It locks into a wedge but is not cleated. I turned onto the course in good shape.
We were using all the course this time. We hit it hard and the acceleration was rapid. We went straight into the 60's. The pod was instantly high and I sheeted in as hard as I could to try and get it down. I was now adding a pre-fix to "fast". It was now "This is ******* fast".
VESTAS Sailrocket 2 was alive and baring her base ventilated claws. We were in close and conditions were perfect. After 11 years, all the plates were spinning. The boat gave a hard kick in towards the beach that I had to steer into. I later found out that the rear skeg had dropped down and was dragging behind giving a fixed steering input. The boat settled into a new balance. I thought it was something else related to the messy start up. I still thought something might be broken... but stuff it. I couldn't see it and whatever it was it wasn't slowing us down.
We were hitting new highs. The timing hut was gone in an instant. I was vaguely aware of Malcolm and George standing on the shore in the shallows. It was just solid, hard speed now. I felt like the boat had forgotten about me and was now just showing itself what it could do. I was a passenger. The leeward pod continued to climb and climb.
Sheeting on wouldn't put it down any more as it just generated speed and hence more apparent. I had no option but to sheet out and bring it all back under control. I ended up way down the end of the beach in the shallows. We survived. That had to be it... that was hard core fast.’
In 2011 we wrote about SailRocket going over 50 knots - in 2012 it is up to 65 knots.
Congratulations to Paul and the team at SailRocket from all at Shock Mitigation and Good Luck for the future!!
See VIDEO of SailRocket 2 breaking the World Record here click on Blown Away
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