The Vestas SailRocket2 built on the Isle of Wight has become the fastest boat on the planet after it smashed the world sailing speed record following almost 10 years of attempts.With conditions on the test track at Walvis Bay in Namibia near perfect for the attempt, Weymouth based sailor Paul Larsen and his Vestas SailRocket 2 team, who have been working on breaking the record for almost a decade having seen it rise by nine knots, was confident of success having earlier in the week averaged 54.08 knots down the 500m course.
This beat the previous ‘boats’ record of 51.36 knots set by Alain Thebault’s team on L’Hydroptère in 2009 but was still some way short of the overall sailing speed record of 55.65 knots, set two years ago in Luderitz by American kiteboarder Rob Douglas.
“She is just gagging to do it,” said Larsen on Monday.
“She didn’t hit her own peak at 61.9 knots – I had to let the mainsheet go to stop the boat before I ran aground. It was accelerating hard.
“If you look at the speed graph of the boat on that last run, it is like the Matterhorn! It goes up until I drop the mainsheet and then it drops off again.”
But on Friday, with the wind blowing 26 knots and flat seas, Larsen tweeted their success saying the record was finally theirs, having averaged a remarkable 59 knots (67.9 mph).
The record has still to be verified by the World Sailing Speed Records Council.
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