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Vestas Sailrocket 2 takes on world speed-sailing record
« on: 2013-02-18 18:41:19 »
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Nice to see kids going fast and having fun without burning fossil fuels.

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Vestas Sailrocket 2 takes on world speed-sailing record

Source: Wired UK
Author: Mark Brown
Date: 2011.11.22


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GYAzMIwKsJE
The Vestas Sailrocket 2 -- a speed-sailing boat built in the singular pursuit of outright speed and efficiency -- has returned to the wind-lashed Walvis Bay in Namibia, for a another chance to set the outright world speed-sailing record.

The wind-powered craft, which was built by project leader Paul Larsen and his team on the Isle of Wight, will need to cover a short distance of just 500 metres at a speed exceeding 55.65 knots (around 64 miles per hour) to nab the record.

The current record-holder is American kite surfer, Rob Douglas. He set that benchmark 55.65 knot speed just up the coast of Namibia in Ludertiz. The kite surfers returned to Namibia earlier this year, but failed to nudge the record any higher.

That gives Larsen and his pals an opportunity to snatch the prize, and they're confident. The Sailrocket 2 is seen as a big step beyond the team's Mk1 boat which hit peak speeds of 52 knots in a record attempt in 2008. Tragically, the boat flipped and crashed as it approached a record-breaking speed.

The second generation boat is designed to be even faster than its predecessor. For example, the fuselage and beam are angled at 20 degrees into the direction of the "apparent" wind to both reduce drag and increase stability. Plus, the team claims that the entire boat, including rigging, has the equivalent aerodynamic drag of a 74-centimetre-wide sphere.

The Vestas Sailrocket 2 is now in Namibia, under the watchful eye of the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC), and the team has 28 days to push the nimble craft past the world record speed. You can follow the team on Twitter, here.
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