Now we've gone from impressive to off the charts (the speed sailing charts, that is).
After nabbing the outright speed sailing record ten days ago with a Walvis Bay run of 59.23 knots, Paul Larsen took his suddenly brilliant design back out for another windy day over the weekend.
The result? A blistering run that raised the outright record to 65.45 knots, and topped out at 68.01 knots (subject to WSSRC verification). In short, Larsen and the SailRocket team just raised kiteboarder Rob Douglas's previous record of 55.65 knots by almost 10 knots. That's not just an incremental advance, it's a quantum leap.
After the run Larsen declared himself "speechless," and he was. But here was his thinking going into the big day and its windy forecast:
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.
I guess the tweaks were spot on.
To top off it all off, SailRocket also snagged the naultical mile record with equal ferocity, taking it from Hydroptere's 50.17 knots to 55.32 knots.
Here's what that looked like–and what ten years of blood, sweat, tears (and refinement) can produce: