New sailing speed record set


Australian Paul Larsen, an engineering degree dropout, has broken the world speed record for wind powered craft, saying “motors are for slowpokes.”

His carbon-fibre ‘Sail Rocket 2′ peaked at a top speed of 74.6 MPH.  He traversed a one nautical-mile leg at an average speed of 63.7 MPH, and ran 550 yards at 68.5 MPH.

This shatters the previous world record of some 64 MPH, held for the past several years by radical kite-boarder Rob Douglas.  (See NY Times, Kite With the Wind)

Sponsored by the Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas, the 40-foot asymmetrical triple hydrofoil craft can travel three times faster than the speed of the wind.  The main fuselage is shaped like a rocket, and is angled at 20 degrees off the direction of travel, to face it into the ‘apparent wind’ at high speeds.

A video of his record breaking run can be viewed here:

The website for Paul Larsen and the Sail Rocket 2:


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