Sailboat-Plane Hybrid Rockets into 2012 Hoping to Break Speed Sailing Record

The Vestas Sailrocket 2, a hybrid boat/plane built by a team of naval architects, engineers, and yachtsmen and women is planning to have its name etched in golden letters, by attempting to break the record for the fastest sailing vessel on the water.

Headed by Australian speed sailor Paul Larsen, the team made an all-out effort to break the 60K barrier knot at Walvis Bay, Namibia, southern Africa. Even though they had strengthened the technology behind the sailboat and the conditions were ideal at the bay, Vestas Sailrocket 2 failed to go faster than 51 knots.

Paul Larsen hopes that 2012 will sing a different story and that his team will finally break the speed sailing record. Their belief lies in the construction of the Vestas Sailrocket 2 whose upper unit above water behaves like a plane while the lower unit which operates underwater behaves like a boat. When operating at top speed, the boat largely operates as a paper airplane with a significant part of it flying, said Larsen who is a professional sailor and the think tank behind this mission.

Currently, the record is held by American kitesurfer Rob Douglas who reached a top speed of 55.65 knots (103 kilometers per hour) in 2010.

Larsen acknowledges that their record attempts are dangerous and full of risks. But despite the risks and 2011 failed Namibia mission, the team plans to visit the country once again in 2012 April to complete the 500-meter course in a record 60-knot mark.


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