Update Saturday 24 November - "blown away, 65 knots+" From the Vestas Sailrocket 2 team in Namibia on Saturday:
Well the big forecast is playing out. It's 1017 here and the wind is already in. Our little corner of the Walvis Bay Yacht Club is buzzing as we prepare for the big day that we know lies ahead.
This is the first big wind day we have had in over 6 weeks now.
Today we focus purely on taking the outright record over 60 knots.
The project has been going on a big up for some time now and we want it to continue that way. Things can easily go the other way. The day is going to pump. We used to try and use that power to punch through our glass ceilings but now we have shown that we don't need it. We are operating at around 2.4-2.5 times windspeed and a few more knots makes a big difference. The thing is that whilst we know we will have a lot more power if it's gusting up to 30... what we don't know is what the nature of our drag curve is up ahead. Is it gradual or is it another 'brick wall'. On paper we expect cavitation to happen just over 65 knots. That's on paper. How it manifests itself is yet to be seen.
This boat is damned powerful and in 30 knots, sheeted in hard with around 65-70 knots of apparent wind it's going to be one hell of a tug of war between the wing and the foil. VSR2 is being optimised for a big number. The pitch of the main foil has been reduced by 0.25 degrees, fairings have been added to the front of the stub beam (which holds the foil) and the outboard flap that controls the height of the leeward float has had its negative pitch range increased to help me keep it all on the level.
Later that day: Fresh off the TRIMBLE... 68.01 over 1 second, 65.45 over 500 meters.
And on Sunday: On the GT-31 gps 67.74 and an average 500m 65.37! Yihaaaaaaaaaa...
On the 16/11/12 VESTAS Sailrocket 2 set out on its 13th run for this session Walvis Bay Namibia. In moderate conditions with around 25 knots of wind average...VSR2 smashed the previous Outright world record by the biggest margin in the records history*. Paul larsen averaged 59.23 knots over the record 500 meter course and peaked at over 63 knots. The waters of Walvis Bay became speed sailing holy turf and the home of the Outright record for the first time. This represents the culmination of 10 years hard work. The team promise it still represents the beginning of this boats potential. Africa turned on a spectacular setting and the flamingoes are just the icing. You couldn't make that stuff up. Happy days.
* From Paul Larsen Sun, 18 Nov 12 20:28:
Just in after the most incredible run. A whole nautical mile dipping well into the 60's on each gust. We peaked near or over 64 knots and beat our previous 500 meter average. I don't think we cracked 60 knots as a 500 meter average though. But anyway... we smashed the nautical mile record. The TRIMBLE file is big but on the small GT31 we averaged over 55.5 knots
(Hang on STOP PRESS: Trimble data in now... 55.32 knots for the mile subject to WSSRC ratification. That's it).
63.98 knots 1 second peak... so definitely over 64 for a spike in there.
... and just marginally quicker than our previous best 500 meters at 59.38 knots... subject to WSSRC stuff!
* From Paul on Friday, having set the record (again, subject to WSSRC), for outright sailing record speed average over 500m course. Previous record was set by Rob Douglas, 55.65 kts on a kiteboard.
Super Sonice... Smashed It!
The title says it all. It's just soaking in now... with the Champagne.
Calling friends, team members... all are family tonight.
I'm sitting here with great French champagne all around and smiling people. VESTAS Sailrocket 2 sits outside on the lawn shivering lightly in the decreasing breeze. She has the noble composure of a race winning horse that struts around wondering what all the fuss is about.
We are downloading the TRIMBLE data now. The great thing is that the GPS we use out there is set for a 18 second average... but at 59 knots we might not need that long. It said we did a 59.01 knot average... The TRIMBLE should be higher. I will let you know here when I know.
I think I'll drink some more Pol Roger... and wait.
I'm buzzing and I know it is just going to get better. I will have this for life now.
There it is 59.23 knot average fresh off the TRIMBLE. 62.53 peak.
Records subject to WSSRC ratification.
The record run on vide youtu.be/wnjyusAgk8I
See also sailspeedrecords.com