Carbon Fibre Boat sets New Sailing Record

The Vestas Sailrocket team reached speeds of 59.23 knots (around 70mph) over the 500 metre course at Walvis Bay in Namibia. Sailrocket’s peak speed during the record-breaking run was 62.53 knots in winds of just 25 knots. The outright world speed sailing record is set by taking the average speed of a craft between two points set 500 metres apart. The previous record stood at 55.65 knots (around 64mph). Sailrocket has added now another almost 4 knots!

SP-High Modulus have been involved with the Sailrocket project from the early stages and supplied materials including their own prepreg systems and some dry reinforcements, along with technical services to the project. We have included some photos below of the team creating the sailrocket.

No images found.

Pilot and project leader Paul Larsen noted that setting the new record was payback for ten years of hard work, he told New Scientist;

The acceleration just kept coming. It was like a rev limiter was removed. Things went into fast forward and my mind had to race with the decision-making process required for this new reality, i.e. can I stop the thing at the end. We have now hit over 60 knots a number of times and are just starting to explore this wonderful new world. The boat is in its element. It’s truly a machine in harmony with plenty more still to offer.

Next the team will attempt to take the outright record and average over 60 knots.

photos copyright:  Helena Darvelid – VestasSailrocket.

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158 comments

  1. Sleman Abu Salim 4 years ago

    I guess I’m dumb, but doesn’t the speed count for how much wind you have going and if you’re going to break a record don’t the other participants have to have the same type of wind output so to judge it equally? I’m just curious. Can anyone help me out on this question?

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  2. Jarrett Liu 4 years ago

    Great and awesome clip. Safety all the way. Great tech

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  3. umaxen01 4 years ago

    These are the inventions which change the course of history…

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  4. FlivverFord 4 years ago

    Looks like you sped some of that footage up guys. At some point a yacht is not a yacht with this degree of engineering. Lets see you do the Sydney to Hobart!

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  5. klouter1 4 years ago

    agree, but its cool though

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  6. Jamen Brackley 4 years ago

    Rather have caprie 16

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  7. Jamen Brackley 4 years ago

    Wouldn’t consider it a real sail boat

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  8. BadWithNames123 4 years ago

    meh.. 50 knots in windsurfing is fast enough.. no need to ride this coffin

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  9. Michael Moore 4 years ago

    Right, ok you need a boat that can sail all points of the wind. You can drop a rock and it will go 160 mph down. If you crash in this rocket , will you survive?

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  10. Mark Ridgway 4 years ago

    Very clever but I’ll still have a Hydroptere please because it goes both ways.

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  11. Carboncluster 4 years ago

    Batman! HERE YOU ARE! xD

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  12. de500ya 4 years ago

    I only have one question. what its source of power ? only wind?!

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  13. deckside74 4 years ago

    Absolutely fantastic!What’s next?

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  14. jclayton59466 4 years ago

    This is the only non-pornographic film thats ever given me a chuby 🙂

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  15. sara lee 4 years ago

    guys check WORLDS FASTEST GUITAR PLAYER 2013-4000 BPM

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  16. R31K88 4 years ago

    Lol 1:50 “This is fast. This is real fast.” You ain’t lying dude. lol

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  17. TheRealPontificator 4 years ago

    Do want one!

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  18. surfdogau 4 years ago

    holly &hit that is fast

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  19. braccobalbo 4 years ago

    GREAT JOB.. completely amazed..There has been the windsurf speed record competition in namibia too last december. They reached 56 knots of max speed. Thanks that u showed me what really means to go that fast cuz i couldn’t really figure it out watching the videos of that tiny channel.. wow..

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  20. DoleshEdit 4 years ago

    I’ve grown up sailing all my life. Sailed a number of times in a Hobie Trifoiler. This boat is even more amazing–in that it’s more ‘engineered’ To get an appreciation for this, one must start with learning to sail. The basics. Sail a small sunfish, then sail a 20′, then a catamaran, finally, Windsurfing…then you may appreciate this machine. To ride on this is many times more exciting than a fast powerboat/jetboat–because there is no motor, but all the while a beauty all it’s own.

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  21. pdqsailor 4 years ago

    This program and team did exactly what it was concieved to achieve – and it has room to go further – expanding what we know about the limits of sailing speed. This said – I believe Hydroptere is also a very important craft as it has practical application for open sea conditions. I would like to see Hydroptere fitted with a wing sail in open water. The AC 72’s have adopted hydrofoils and are scooting along at 40 plus knots – the world is watching and it is learning – FAST – thank you Paul ++++

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  22. pdqsailor 4 years ago

    Ratified Records – forever. Read the story of Bernard Smith – a Jewish Rocket Scientist who was also a sailor – the hommage to him in the name. He developed the sidewinder missile for the US navy and fired the first liquid fueled rocket – self taught before being admitted to university as an adult to study Physics. Malcom Barnsley overcame one obstacle after another for ten years. Amazing with the record climbing they did not just catch it – they destroyed it.

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  23. DocUnsane 5 years ago

    is it fast?

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  24. DocUnsane 5 years ago

    is it fast?

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  25. DocUnsane 5 years ago

    is it fast?

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  26. StevenSiew2 5 years ago

    I only have one question. Does it come in black?

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  27. StevenSiew2 5 years ago

    I only have one question. Does it come in black?

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  28. Mick Martin 5 years ago

    Fantastic.

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  29. 5 years ago

    Fantastic.

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  30. Ansharzetec1 5 years ago

    Congratulations,great job.

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  31. Ansharzetec1 5 years ago

    Congratulations,great job.

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  32. NaveganteBOG 5 years ago

    Congratulations to the team Vestas! You finally did it.

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  33. NaveganteBOG 5 years ago

    Congratulations to the team Vestas! You finally did it.

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  34. 10gsplus 5 years ago

    … and not be fast enough on the other tack either.

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  35. 10gsplus 5 years ago

    … and not be fast enough on the other tack either.

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  36. Nickolas Davies 5 years ago

    my one argument, hydroptair could turn around and go the other way (tack/gibe)

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  37. 5 years ago

    my one argument, hydroptair could turn around and go the other way (tack/gibe)

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  38. oktc68 5 years ago

    not all engines require fossil fuels. still, that’s an incredible achievement, congratulations team Vestas.

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  39. oktc68 5 years ago

    not all engines require fossil fuels. still, that’s an incredible achievement, congratulations team Vestas.

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  40. James Curtis 5 years ago

    what are the animals at 1:08, Ostriges??

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  41. 5 years ago

    what are the animals at 1:08, Ostriges??

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  42. vibratingstring 5 years ago

    The fastest I’ve ever sailed is very possibly 17.5 knots 🙂

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  43. vibratingstring 5 years ago

    The fastest I’ve ever sailed is very possibly 17.5 knots 🙂

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  44. Dan Erlich 5 years ago

    The fastest I have ever sailed is 35 knots – Paul darn near doubled that. This man has more courage and intestinal fortitude – yet he is a happy warrior – History is what you get to see happen here – and yes it is awesome

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  45. 5 years ago

    The fastest I have ever sailed is 35 knots – Paul darn near doubled that. This man has more courage and intestinal fortitude – yet he is a happy warrior – History is what you get to see happen here – and yes it is awesome

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  46. Dan Erlich 5 years ago

    no they are done for the season – the boat needs to be strengthened and the foils tweaked to bust 70 – and I hope they enjoy the rest they have earned and are funded to come back and fully explore what this boat and design is capable of. 65 is what she was set up to do and she delivered and more. Prudence dictates that they take a break. The venue is so tight for this speed – very good work on everyone’s part.

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  47. 5 years ago

    no they are done for the season – the boat needs to be strengthened and the foils tweaked to bust 70 – and I hope they enjoy the rest they have earned and are funded to come back and fully explore what this boat and design is capable of. 65 is what she was set up to do and she delivered and more. Prudence dictates that they take a break. The venue is so tight for this speed – very good work on everyone’s part.

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  48. Dan Erlich 5 years ago

    Their foils peak at close to 70 knots and can be further modified to deliver higher speed. The boat scantlings are at their limits around the peak of 68 knots so them being prudent dictates that the boat has to be strengthened to go further and this season is at an end. You are correct – the kites have a theoretical limit of 60 knots – which is exactly why they went to 65.45 knots on the 500 meter record. This boat and concept can be set up to break 70 knots. Awesome development work.

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  49. 5 years ago

    Their foils peak at close to 70 knots and can be further modified to deliver higher speed. The boat scantlings are at their limits around the peak of 68 knots so them being prudent dictates that the boat has to be strengthened to go further and this season is at an end. You are correct – the kites have a theoretical limit of 60 knots – which is exactly why they went to 65.45 knots on the 500 meter record. This boat and concept can be set up to break 70 knots. Awesome development work.

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  50. Dan Erlich 5 years ago

    Are you perhaps visually impaired? If your eyes are working then you perhaps need to work on your social skills – this is indeed very special and it is not a matter of opinion it is a matter of fact. What is being displayed here is history and developed technology delivering the holy grail of sailing performance. Please do not denegrate this achievement in any way.

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  51. 5 years ago

    Are you perhaps visually impaired? If your eyes are working then you perhaps need to work on your social skills – this is indeed very special and it is not a matter of opinion it is a matter of fact. What is being displayed here is history and developed technology delivering the holy grail of sailing performance. Please do not denegrate this achievement in any way.

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  52. Dan Erlich 5 years ago

    Which is why they travel to Namibia and sail in Walvis Bay. The off shore breeze and relatively sheltered waters allow this boat to display it’s true tallents in very tight conditions – when skippered by a guy like Paul Larson. What you are seeing is in now way “normal” it is extraordinary. Ten years of effort in the making – this is a very special demonstration of developed technologies.

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  53. 5 years ago

    Which is why they travel to Namibia and sail in Walvis Bay. The off shore breeze and relatively sheltered waters allow this boat to display it’s true tallents in very tight conditions – when skippered by a guy like Paul Larson. What you are seeing is in now way “normal” it is extraordinary. Ten years of effort in the making – this is a very special demonstration of developed technologies.

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  54. olderanddecrepit 5 years ago

    Not everyone is into burning fossil fuel.

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  55. olderanddecrepit 5 years ago

    Not everyone is into burning fossil fuel.

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  56. Capt777harris 5 years ago

    Wow. Incredible.

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  57. Capt777harris 5 years ago

    Wow. Incredible.

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  58. Hirvibongari2 5 years ago

    Remember the movie Waterworl? Think of this boat, Deacon in the Waterworld yelling to Mariner “Get him!” and then watching the boat, at 2:05, soar away 75 mph! 😀

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  59. Hirvibongari2 5 years ago

    Remember the movie Waterworl? Think of this boat, Deacon in the Waterworld yelling to Mariner “Get him!” and then watching the boat, at 2:05, soar away 75 mph! 😀

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  60. Joel Eve 5 years ago

    The wave tops are being blown back out to sea in this video, so she is not sailing along a lee shore. This is also why the water is calmest near the beach.

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  61. 5 years ago

    The wave tops are being blown back out to sea in this video, so she is not sailing along a lee shore. This is also why the water is calmest near the beach.

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  62. Joel Eve 5 years ago

    The wind is blowing offshore as is evidenced by the wave tops being blown back out to sea. This is just like the Santa Ana condition in Southern California where you can get a very fast sail by going in very close to the beach to find flat water and high winds.

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  63. 5 years ago

    The wind is blowing offshore as is evidenced by the wave tops being blown back out to sea. This is just like the Santa Ana condition in Southern California where you can get a very fast sail by going in very close to the beach to find flat water and high winds.

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  64. n2dabloo 5 years ago

    Every wind indicator in the video shows the wind coming from the sea, the lady’s hair blowing as she speaks into the radio, the list of the sailboat, the waves, etc. She’s sailing along a lee shore so fetch would not explain the small seas. Perhaps the wind had just picked up recently?

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  65. n2dabloo 5 years ago

    Every wind indicator in the video shows the wind coming from the sea, the lady’s hair blowing as she speaks into the radio, the list of the sailboat, the waves, etc. She’s sailing along a lee shore so fetch would not explain the small seas. Perhaps the wind had just picked up recently?

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  66. VincentHanna00 5 years ago

    ..good work!!

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  67. VincentHanna00 5 years ago

    ..good work!!

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  68. jamesonknott 5 years ago

    They know we have boats with engines now right?

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  69. jamesonknott 5 years ago

    They know we have boats with engines now right?

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  70. Jamshed Dubash 5 years ago

    I love tech. I know one of you people out there are thinking sail powered flight!!! I know I see it, Thanks for making the world a more wonderful place!!! NICE WORK!!

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  71. 5 years ago

    I love tech. I know one of you people out there are thinking sail powered flight!!! I know I see it, Thanks for making the world a more wonderful place!!! NICE WORK!!

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  72. Bill Nog 5 years ago

    He sounds like Pyro.

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  73. 5 years ago

    He sounds like Pyro.

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  74. 5 years ago

    Fetch. The wind here comes off the sand, it doesn’t blow across the route they take.

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  75. MrKb1028 5 years ago

    Holy crap nice job. What i dont understand though is why there are no white caps? I race 420’s on around the hudson and whenever it reaches 20 knots we get like two foot white caps.

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  76. TheHkm97 5 years ago

    @godnmqj g definitely is right. who can believe it even you showed this. And, my step mom used to receive an amount every month for taking some tests and surfing web. you can also join from here —> bit.ly/U2J8Sl?=izaevxt

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  77. 5 years ago

    Love this. Brilliant design, great performance, good rush. Inspiring to wind catchers everywhere.ch:

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  78. killer55527 5 years ago

    Cool

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  96. MrSnible 5 years ago

    Speed on water always seems a lot faster than normal.

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  99. gunboy217 5 years ago

    Brian is a dousche bag and Tony is a dumbass. FUCK YOU SPAMMING BITCH!!!

    Like Dislike
  100. stoker20 5 years ago

    On other forums people have postulated that if they can’t haul along their fat wife and kids they have no interest in this sail boat.

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  101. aldearey 5 years ago

    The spam here is terrible

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  102. gdog48001 5 years ago

    holy shit lol

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  104. 5 years ago

    that is fast

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  108. 5 years ago

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  113. 5 years ago

    More spam please.

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  114. taxus65 5 years ago

    Fantastic; must add to previous comment, the Supermarine Spitfire also came out of Southampton

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  115. audas 5 years ago

    Fantastic stuff guys. Truly amazing.

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  116. Jangle2007 5 years ago

    Baring an astounding advance in the efficiency of their rigs since 2010, I doubt that the Luderitz kite sailors will approach the new record. Their rigs are fast in huge winds, but are comparitively inefficient. They would need in excess of 55 knots knots wind to approach VSR2 speeds- I doubt that Luderitz sees that on their strongest day. Moreso, I doubt that the kite surfers could actually harness and control that amount of energy. I also think that VSR2 may be near their foil limits.

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  117. 5 years ago

    They’re not done yet….The Luderitz Speed Challenge is next week. We might see VS2 break 70 knots?

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  118. whatwouldbrianwilson 5 years ago

    If I can ever buy a vestas product I will simply for making this possible. Smokin.

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  119. Jangle2007 5 years ago

    @ 1:57, favorite part; “Goodbye Hydroptere.” Larsen knew he had it in the bag. With their astonishing 65.4K outright speed record on Saturday 24 Nov 12, Sailrocket team has had a tremendous month.

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  120. Jangle2007 5 years ago

    The offset of the hull is designed to do exactly what you have said. Remember, despite sailing in 25 knot average winds, the apparent wind generated by Sailrocket’s forward speed becomes about 70 knots, at roughly the apparent wind angle that the hull is set to the float pods. You can be sure that the the design engineers didn’t make so obvious an error as to mistakenly set the pods askew to the hull.

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  121. JensenMaritime 5 years ago

    Outstanding accomplishment! Our congratulations to Paul and his team. Keep on sailing. Yes! I have gone that fast powered by the wind on an iice boat, On liquid water what a rush!

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  122. william newton LEE 5 years ago

    god what a thrill. great work. i was born 70 years to soon. love it. now thats high tec.

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  123. TheRanblingjohnny 5 years ago

    Fucking insane does not even begin to do this justice! loll

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  124. gd01skorpius 5 years ago

    I had no idea this was a thing! One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!

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  125. 42cosmonauts 5 years ago

    you can’t compare those two thing. that’s like comparing a swimmer with an ice-skater — you can’t compare the different factors.

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  126. lceus 5 years ago

    You should use the song: Sail by AWOLNATION.

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  127. AJ06 5 years ago

    For a sailboat, that’s quick as hell lol

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  128. 5 years ago

    amazing! way to go, team!:)

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  129. 5 years ago

    As far as I understand, he failed – he didn’t take off 🙁

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  130. M0b1u5 5 years ago

    Still extremely slow compared to ice-yacht racing where speeds can be almost 160 kph. And a helluva lot smoother!

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  131. realheadcrusher 5 years ago

    Amazing! congrats

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  132. 5 years ago

    Guys this is just awesome in so many ways. You have moved the bars so much and you deserve every plaudit there is for this. CONGRATULATIONS.But by they way. Where are you going to stop? 🙂

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  133. GregOrca 5 years ago

    Paul and the guys have just smashed the outright record again a few minutes ago with a peak of 67.74 knots and 65.37 knots average! That’s 121km/hr and 125.45 km/hr peak.Now THAT is sailing !!

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  134. 5 years ago

    This is awesome.

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  135. peanuts2105 5 years ago

    This the best thing to come out of Southampton, UK (along with the XFR speed boat)

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  136. Chronox5 5 years ago

    That was bloody fast. Wow!

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  137. Kepez 5 years ago

    Wouldn’t the hull have smaller air resistance if it was going straight ahead, instead of “strafing” a little to the left all the time? It just looks very weird to me.

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  138. theham4sand 5 years ago

    the helmet cam looks sped up!!!!! jesus

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  139. 1953Excalibur 5 years ago

    Brilliant result … well done all involved, that was fantastic!

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  140. 5 years ago

    Wow!

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  141. meadroid 5 years ago

    Fan – bloody – tastic, well done team!!

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  142. betterrobots 5 years ago

    Great Job!I hope you guys can smash the 60kts average with this boat. You have broken everyone elses records, time to get to work on your own 😀

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  143. 5 years ago

    This is absolutely wicked! As Paul was commentating, tears came to my eyes!”This is real fast”!!!!!!Congrats!!!!

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  144. builder1966 5 years ago

    having a drink for you guys rite now…cheers from the Gold Coast

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  145. SelleritaS 5 years ago

    holy smokes well done!!!

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  146. 5 years ago

    Fantastic effort by the team! Amazing video too! I remember the beginnings of Malcolm’s design efforts, almost thirty years ago at Portland Speed Week, and this performance now is the reward for an awful lot of persistence! We used to dream about the “forty knot sailboat”, and now the sixty knot version is reality! On behalf of all the old, mad, lunatic fringe of Speed Sailors from the Johnnie Walker Speed Week days, I offer hearty congratulations to the Vesta team!

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  147. starchaser28 5 years ago

    Cool! I wonder which Americas cup team might try to hire this team first!? 🙂

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  148. bosshossbhc3 5 years ago

    I’ve drink french champagne toognight!!!!

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  149. 5 years ago

    I felt like I was riding with you Paul, some great video, crikey the fastest I’ve ever been in a boat is 38kts, and that was using 120 horses of Mercury power, not a measly 25kts of wind!

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  150. 5 years ago

    Amazing! Can’t wait to see the next generation craft. Would that be a double fin front and back so when the craft is flying at speed, nothing but the two fins touches the water? Would double airfoils be necessary to keep the force balanced? Will the next generation vestas have a tail like an airplane instead and still use a single fin? Quite exciting to watch the next frontier in speed sailing manifest. I’m already wondering what new design lies ahead.

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  151. builder1966 5 years ago

    Stone the crows an starve the lizards,,,that was GOOD to watch,,More please,,keep it going Larso,,

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  152. 10gsplus 5 years ago

    The Chuck Yeager of sailing and I am not sure if it is coincidence or not, but the X1 was the same colour. Sir Malcolm, Sir Russel, Sir Paul? I would hope so.Absolutely gobsmacking what you fellows have achieved this week after 10 long years of work. Brilliant! Insprational!

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  153. ARGOYACHTS 5 years ago

    FANTASTIC.. CONGR !!

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  154. TheSailingNewsTV 5 years ago

    Congratulations. It is a fantastic record.

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  155. MarlowRopes 5 years ago

    Congratulations! Amazing Video. Marlow ropes is proud to have helped such a great team.

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  156. 5 years ago

    Have been watching you online for a number of years now and really thrilled for you that you have smashed the record. Your web site giving details of how you have been progressing with design ideas etc has been fascinating….Brilliant, Congratulations.

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  157. mrhulot101 5 years ago

    WOW I love what you guys are doing. That was fast! thanks for sharing

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  158. 5 years ago

    Hey thanks guys I’ve been hanging out to hear and see more. Spectacular effort.

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