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Sailrocket 'Smashes' World Speed Sailing Record

20th November 2012
Sailrocket 'Smashes' World Speed Sailing Record

#SPEED RECORD - Weymouth-based sailor Paul Larsen and his crew have laid claim to a new world record in speed sailing, as BBC News reports.

The team say they achieved an average speed of over 59 knots - with a peak of 63.5 knots - on a half-kilometer run at Namibia's Skeleton Coast using their purposely designed Vestas Sailrocket 2.

Their speed "smashed" the previous record of 55.65 knots set by kitesurfer Rob Douglas in the 2010 Luderitz Speed Challenge, although it is yet to be confirmed by the World Speed Sailing Records Council.

It was the culmination of 10 years' hard work on the part of Australian-born Larsen and his team, using the specially adapted design built on the Isle of Wight - a vessel that's "very impractical in conventional sailing terms", as Larsen told the Times.

He added: "We are buzzing — no-one has done this with a sailing boat before... This shows how unique and revolutionary the boat is.

"We’ve had to break the boundaries of sailing — like the equivalent of our sound barrier — just over 50 knots."

The boat's designer Chris Hornzee-Jones said the vessel - inspired by the success of speed sailing kitesurfers and windsurfers like Oisín can Gelderen - was key to their breakthrough.

"It is designed to be an ideal testing platform for trialling new foil concepts which will allow us to break through this 'glass ceiling' and perform at speeds well over 60 knots.”

Published in News Update
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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