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.[widgetkit id=4726]
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.