Paul Larsen, Sailrocket 2 pilot and project leader, set a new world record on 16 November. (Picture history of Helena Darvelid / VestasSailrocket.)
Paul Larsen, Sailrocket 2 pilot and project leader, set a new world record on 16 November. (Picture history of Helena Darvelid / VestasSailrocket.)

This 'outright' world speed sailing record is set by taking the average speed of a craft between two points set 500 m apart. It is ratified by the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSRC) and is open to all water borne sailing craft, from kite surfers to maxi multihulls.

On 16 November the Vestas Sailrocket 2 team reached a speed of 59.23 knots (around 70 mph) over the 500 m course at Walvis Bay in Namibia. Sailrocket’s peak speed during the record breaking run was 62.53 knots in winds of just 25 knots. The previous record stood at 55.65 knots (around 64 mph) and was set by a kite surfer.

Update: On 24 November, Vestas Sailrocket 2 broke the record again, reaching 65.45 knots.

“This is the culmination of many years of hard work from so many people. Based on the experience from the previous version of the Sailrocket boat, we have used everything we learnt into designing the perfect speed sailing boat. By sailing at 2.5 times the speed of the wind, we have really done something amazing.”
Paul Larsen, Vestas Sailrocket 2 pilot and project leader

The boat was designed and built by the Sailrocket team in wind power company Vestas' R&D facilities on the Isle of Wight, UK. It took 16 months to construct.

Vestas Sailrocket 2 has an empty weight of 275 kg. It is 12.2 m long and 12.2 m wide and has a total wing area of 22 m2.

The main structure is made from SP-High Modulus (Gurit) carbon fibre prepregs with a Nomex honeycomb core. 

The main foil was constructed by Dan Emuss, Independent Composites, Bristol, UK. The foils were cured in Green Marine's autoclaves. The wing is based around a tapered, filament wound spar supplied by COMPOTECH. The wing skins are a polyester heat shrink film supplied by HIFI Films.