Carbon Fiber Vessel Breaks Speed Sailing Record
Things just got a bit faster out on the water. A specially designed sailboat sponsored by Danish wind turbine maker Vestas has set a new 500-meter sailing speed record. The Sailrocket 2 reached 59.23 knots (68.1 mph) on Walvis Bay in Namibia earlier this month. It was also clocked at 64.7 knots (74.5 mph) during a later run.
The World Sailing Speed Record Council certified an average speed of 54.08 knots for the Nov. 12 run. The 59.23 knot-run on Nov. 16 was certified as the new outright sailing speed record on Nov. 27.
The 600-lb. vessel is built of carbon fiber with a core of composite Nomex Honeycomb.
According to the company, the sail wing is separated from the hull by a long beam, which helps accelerate the craft in wind gusts. The sail actually catches wind generated by the boat’s own speed, which magnifies the intensity of the gusts. Special structures on the hydrofoils further increase speed by reducing cavitation-induced drag, which occurs at speeds over 50 knots. You can read more about the design here.
You can see the Sailrocket 2 in the video below: