Still waiting for WSSRC ratification, but here's the video of SailRocket pushing down the course at an average of near 60 knots. You can hear the excitement in Larsen's voice as he suspectes that 10 years of hard work and setbacks has finally delivered The Prize.
Here's Larsen's intro:
Ok, the hangover is over and the laptops are smoking in the container. I'll write the full update soon. I've been overwhelmed by all the people writing in and obviously enjoying this as much as we are.
So it's time to take you all on that magic ride down the new 'holy water' of the speed sailing world.
Friends, I'm having a little difficulty with this post. Maybe you can help me out. We are about 800 nm from New Zealand, and I'm trying to make the point that I'm kind of sad to be leaving the tropics. But every way I try to tackle the issue… well, you'll see.
Attempt #1: No more mermaids
A few days ago, I was snorkeling with Erik and the girls. There is a fishing boat wrecked on the reef in Ha'afeva, and it has become the usual habitat for coral and fish. Stylish delighted in seeing how deep she could dive, peering through rusty hatches and surprising the shyer fish.…
A NEW SAILING SPEED RECORD
Hand it to Paul Larsen. He’s been at this game for years. Since 2002. I remember talking to him in 2005 in Qatar, UAE, at the start of the round-the-world Oryx Quest, and trying to convince him to run Sailrocket in the protected waters close to the western shore of South San Francisco Bay. Instead he dedicated his time to Walvis Bay, Namibia, which has become the speed capital of the sailing world. Today, Paul reports himself drenched in champagne with a new 500-meter record pending ratification.
Now, 59.23 knots sounds fast, but for most consumption, I reckon I’ll be calling it something like 68 miles per hour (!)
Larsen’s Vestas Sailrocket 2 is based on a unique stabilizing concept, with sail and keel elements positioned to cancel overturning moment while producing no net vertical lift.…
Okay, this is subject to WSSRC ratification, but Paul Larson just posted this update:
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.
L'Hydroptère's latest news is that the project lost its sponsorship from DCNS. DCNS is a French company, and apparently didn't feel like it was getting any bang for its marketing buck here in California. The project is setting up a California structure and will be looking for sponsorship here. Interested, anyone? Oracle? Apple? Anyone?
I was out sailing last week and came upon L'Hydroptère on a mooring just off the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon. I assumed L'Hydroptère lived a coddled existence, like one of the America's Cup boats, and got hoisted out of the water every night into some high security Dr.…
WE’RE HERE! In the photo, if you look carefully, you’ll see the lumpy bumps of dry land–the island of Culebra to be precise–that we encountered at sunrise yesterday morning as we swooped in from the north on a moderate east-southeasterly breeze. By 1030 hours we were tied up at the fuel dock at the Puerto del Rey Marina in Fajardo, awaiting a U.S. customs inspection.
This, strange to say, focussed largely on our garbage. We answered several questions about the food we bought in Bermuda (all of it processed stuff or fresh produce that, of course, had originally been imported from the States) and our two small bags of garbage, composed mostly of plastic packaging we hadn’t thrown overboard en route, were then quarantined.…
Paulo Larsen has drunk his champagne, and a lot of rum as well, as far as I can tell. And now he has had a chance to look at the detailed speed data logged during SailRocket's 60-plus knot run.
It's pretty interesting analysis and Larsen is now very confident that they have cracked the design code and just need the right conditions (steady 26-30 knot breeze) to set an outright sailing speed record that will top a 60 knot average over 500 meters.
Here's the video again:
And here's Larsen's account of the run, and what was going on:
THE 500 Meter AVERAGE.
Just for a minute or three, forget the Vendee, SailRocket, and the America's Cup, and sit back and enjoy the magic of kiteboarding, Hannah Whiteley, Venezuela's Margarita Island, and some suitably haunting music.
Ahh. Okay, back to regularly scheduled programming.
Lots more Hannah here and here. (And H/T to JR).
So this week we've managed to get a few things accomplished on the boat. The refrigeration is up and working again—for the time being at least. Two leaking skylights were fixed (those pesky things seem to leak after about a year no matter what I do).
New zincs are on the shaft and rudder. A rip in the bimini is fixed and reinforced. And two lifelines that have always been too loose have been shortened and tightened up. It's not a great list—there are no major accomplishments on there—but it's better than a stick in the eye.
My favorite thing about big sailing events – whether boat shows, rendezvous', pot-lucks or rallies – used to be the boats. I love nothing more than walking the docks and looking at boats, and I like them all. Some more than others to be sure (give me an old classic over a modern plastic bottle anyway), but all of them nonetheless.
There's just something about being around boats that lights me up inside. Looking at the subtle differences in the way they're rigged. How some catamarans have spreaders on the mast and some don't. How clever little design touches like a collapsable emergency boarding ladder let you clamber aboard a boat with high freeboard if you accidentally go in the drink.…