The revolutionary speed sailing boat Vestas Sailrocket 2 has become the world’s fastest wind powered craft, smashing the current Outright World Speed Sailing Record*, in dramatic style in Walvis Bay, off the coast of Namibia.
The new world record of 59.23 knots* (109kph) set the best average time over 500m and broke the previous mark of 55.65 knots with a peak speed of 63 knots (119kph). This represents the biggest jump in performance in the Outright speed records history. Two days later the team improved this speed with a 59.38 knot* run which peaked at exactly 120kph (64.78 knots). During the same run the team also smashed the nautical mile world record* with an average of over 55 knots. The ink was barely dry on the first record.
“What a fantastic feeling,” exclaimed passionate Vestas Sailrocket 2 pilot and project leader Paul Larsen. “The boat was really flying across the water today. We saw a beautiful untouched horizon ahead of us. Everything came together perfectly and it’s amazing to have finally broken the world record. This is the breakthrough moment we have been aiming to achieve since the initial launch of the first Vestas Sailrocket.”
“This is the culmination of many years of hard work from so many people. Based on the experience from the previous version of the Sailrocket boat, we have used everything we learnt into designing the perfect speed sailing boat. By sailing at 2.5 times the speed of the wind, we have really done something amazing.”
*The Outright record, as the name implies, covers all boats boards and classes and is subject to official ratification by the ISAF/World Sailing Speed Record Council who were on hand in Walvis Bay. The team believe the speeds they achieved are genuine and all the criteria have been met and expect the WSSRC will official ratify the record in the upcoming days.
Vestas Sailrocket 2 was designed and built in Vestas’ technology facilities on the Isle of Wight in the UK. Shortly afterwards, the whole project was shipped to Walvis Bay in Namibia where conditions are considered ideal for setting world records.
Vestas Sailrocket 2 is designed to be a breakthrough boat confronting the problems affecting high speed sailing craft head on and break through to a whole new level of performance. The team believes Vestas Sailrocket 2 can go even faster, targeting average speeds of over 60 knots (69mph, 111kmh).
Vestas’ Chief Turbines Officer Anders Vedel representing the main sponsor of Sailrocket 2, says the team have done an excellent job in breaking the outright world speed sailing record.
“I’m thrilled that Sailrocket 2 can now be called the fastest boat on the planet,” he says. “It is extremely exciting to see that the innovation and technological achievement by Vestas and the Sailrocket 2 team has been so successful in harnessing the maximum energy from the wind.”
VestasSailrocket 2 is a speed sailing boat based on a unique, stabilising concept. Vestas Sailrocket has continuously pushed the limits for speed sailing and currently holds the B class world record for speed sailing.The sail and keel elements are positioned so that there is virtually no overturning moment and no net vertical lift. As a result, the only significant response to wind gusts is a change in speed. For Paul Larsen and Malcolm Barnsley, design team member from Vestas, the Vestas Sailrocket 2 project is a realisation of their ultimate dream to design and sail the fastest boat on the planet.
The outright world speed sailing record is set by taking the average speed of a craft between two points set 500 meters apart. All records are observed and ratified by the sport’s governing body, the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSRC). It is open to all water borne sailing crafts from kite surfers to maxi multihulls.
In late October 2010, American Kite surfer Rob Douglas set the current record in Luderitz, Namibia with a speed of at 55.65 knots (64 mph, 104 kmh). In a month-long session the kite surfers took the record off the mighty French hydro-foilerHydroptere and raised the record by over 4 knots.
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Today, Vestas has delivered wind energy in more than 70 countries, providing jobs for around 19,000 passionate people at our service and project sites, research facilities, factories and offices all over the world. With 65 per cent more megawatts installed than our closest competitor and more than 51 GW of cumulative installed capacity worldwide, Vestas is the world leader in wind energy.
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