New speed records – Update
On November 24th, 2012 the VESTAS Sailrocket 2 took speed sailing into a whole new era. Having already broken the existing Outright world speed sailing record by the biggest margin in the records history a little over a week earlier, the team took to the waters of Walvis Bay in strong winds to try and be the first to take the sailing sport over the 60 knots average mark. The 500 m average speed was measured with 65.45 knots and the topspeed with more than 68 knots, what´s more than 125 km/h. That´s incredible fast and the topspeed of the VESTAS Sailrocket 2 exceeds the actual windsurfing topspeed of Antoine Albeau by 25 km/h.
“This video shows the third run of the day. The record attempt had been plagued by unusually light winds but they knew that on this day, Walvis Bay was going to deliver the goods. After 11 years of hard work on a ‘roller coaster of highs and lows’… everything was in place for something big to happen. Founder and co-designer of the Sailrocket project, Malcolm Barnsley, had flown in to see his dream play out before his own eyes. VESTAS Sailrocket 2 has put a mark way up on the graph to show everyone what´s possible.
Aerial photography by Bernt Bruns. Directed, filmed and edited by Ben Holder.
And what´s up at the windsurfing front at Luderitz?
The windsurfers are getting faster and faster in less wind. In the latest session on November 25th – it was the 11th day the channel at Luderitz was open – Antoine set the best 500 m time with 51.69 knots. Antoine has the top speed with an average of 52.05 knots and was able to reach 100 km/h topspeed as the first windsurfer in history. The French machine sailed with a 2 second topspeed of 54.14 knots, what’s 100.26 km/h. His topspeed is by 4.01% higher compared to his best average. The VESTAS Sailrocket 2 was 3,9 % faster in their topspeed with 68.01 compared to the best average of 65.45 knots.
Björn Dunkerbeck hit the channel for the second time and reached 51.09 knots. Now he is the fourth fastest windsurfer on the 500 run. He was using a bit wider board compared to Antoine with 44 cm and a 5.6 m big sail the 2012 Severne Reflex III. Antoine used a 40 and 42 cm wide board with a NP RS:Racing EVOV 5.4 m sail, when taking the hammer down. Björn´s difference between his 2 second topspeed and best average is right now 4.66 %.
Björn stated after his session: “Now I have finally reached the 50 knots barrier on the speed strip at day 11! With the best being 51.09 = 94.61 Km/h speed on the 500 meter speed strip , with top GPS speed 99.02 km/h the 100 km/h is very close now ! I would like to dedicate this achievement to my 11 days old son Daniel my wife Maria, Alba, Liam and Martina, my other 3 kids ! Thursday looks promising for strong wind again, keep your fingers crossed for 40 knots +.”
Anders Bringdal actually is in second with 51.45 knots on 500 m, followed by Jurjen van der Noord with 51.26 knots.
Let´s see, if someone of the top ranked windsurfers will improve the record again. Actually the windsurfers are the third fastest vehicle on the water. Rob Douglas is the fastest kitesurfer. He set his personal record at Luderitz, Octobr 8th 2010 with an 500 m average speed of 55,65 knots. Let´s see, if there is a chance that Antoine or one of the other top speed sailors will reach or break the current record of Rob. Antoine´s topspeed is just 1.51 knots behind Rob´s 500 m topspeed. That´s a strong sign.
But it will be very, very hard to beat the record of the Vestas Speedrocket, which is 25,74 % percent ahead of Antoine´s current worldrecord. But everything is possible. Back in the 80s in 1986 Pascal Maka had the record for windsurfers with 38,86 knots on 500 m. Nowadays Antoine is 13.19 knots ahead of Pascal Maka, but 13.4 knots behind the current topspeed of the Sailrocket. And the crew were working for 11 years to develop the boat and train the crew to reach this incredible speed of 65.45 knots.
UK speed windsurfer Zara Davis still has the lead and the World Record with 45,83 knots. She is by 13.57% slower compared to Antoine´s best speed.