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back to article Sailboat cracks 100 km/h for first time

A sail-powered boat has cracked 100 km/h for the first time, thanks to a ‘Wing-Sail’ designed by a British consultancy that specialises in wind turbine design. The vessel in question is the Sailrocket 2, a vessel piloted by Australian Paul Larsen, built on the Isle of Wight and designed with the help of Brighton-based AEROTROPE …

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Wow!

That is pretty damn rapid... It's mad enough doing that kind of speed in a powered water craft, but at least you have control of everything (bar the waves). Pulling that kind of speed at the mercy of the wind - mental!

It's also nice to see people in their rightful places too. Brits doing the design thing in their sheds, and a crazy Aussie piloting it. That's how it should be!

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Pint

Re: Wow!

Yes, not intending to take anything away, but as far as I remember there where sailboards, long ago, who reach that speed in Holland. Any information about that. What you need is only a nice angle to the wind, and wind, of course. Demanding, with that cosy rigg, compared to a sailboard/surfboard, not really. Demanding yes.

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Coat

Re: Wow!

Or you could just go outside in a hurricane in a big coat - see diagram

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Re: Wow!

Holy Crap, that's a seaplane not a sailboat!!

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Re: Wow! @Lars

No, sailboards haven't got near that speed, although they did hold the overall speed record for a while in the 80's (and 90's?) Kitesurfers have got close to that sort of speed.

But this is, of course, completely mental.

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Happy

I love this sort of madness.

More please!

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As a sailor, that's hardly practical.

However, also as a sailor, I want one! :-)

Probably couldn't stand local conditions most of the time (SF Bay), but today (for example) The Bay was almost glass smooth ... The Wife didn't even get sea-sick when we hauled the nieces & nephews out to pull our crab pots (Dungeness crab is a Turkey-day tradition 'round these here parts).

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Devil

Re: As a sailor, that's hardly practical.

SFO bay? SFO bay does not have the wind field for this baby.

That thing has Playa de Jandia and Costa Calma written all over it. You get some very strange conditions there - the island shields the area from the Atlantic and you get 20-30knots steady wind from the desert. Psychotic kitesurfer paradise. I have seen them go at 30-40 knots on a regular basis (one of the reasons why they do a leg of the world championship there). They cart someone out with something broken on an ambulance at least once a day there during the season - at 40 knots falling on water is like falling on concrete.

I suspect that the place in Namibia where they tested it was similar - desert + a shielded bay. SFO does not have that so you are not likely to get it anywhere near the speed at which it becomes "interesting".

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Re: As a sailor, that's hardly practical.

SF Bay, not SFO Bay. SFO is an airport ...

When the wind is from the north-east-ish, off the Sierra, and out of The Delta, we get 30+ knots, and fairly steady, if you know where to find the water & wind. The air dropping in altitude warms it, sometimes thirty five degrees or more, compared to what the skiers are seeing in the mountains. Add in a glass water surface in the correct tide, and it's a whole hell of a lot of fun :-)

Learn to sail on The Bay, and you can sail anywhere. Oracle's cock-up at the Golden Gate cracks me up. That lot are currently known as "rooks" ;-)

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Re: As a sailor, that's hardly practical.

Perhaps you may like the previous record holder L' Hydroptere

She managed 50 kts over a mile (59mph, 94kmh)

Only a few knots slower, but a much more practical craft.

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Anonymous Coward

"Practical"

If you call the entire crew standing as far out on one leg as possible to stop it turning over practical - yes.

So long as you have a RIB or two to get them into position, these things are "practical". But I don't expect to see fixed wings on ordinary sailboats any time soon, not until you can guarantee more or less fixed wind speed and bearing.

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Re: "Practical"

First of all, the crew hiking on Hydroptere is no different than on any other racing yacht when she is sailing under "race" conditions.

Secondly, she is quite capable of being sailed normally and can tack like any other yacht. IIRC, she is planning to attempt the record for the crossing between San Francisco and Honolulu.

There are same great videos of her mixing it up with other boats in San Francisco bay, This one makes me grin, listen for the comment as Hydroptere passes.

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Vic
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Re: As a sailor, that's hardly practical.

> I suspect that the place in Namibia where they tested it was similar

The point about the Namibia testing range is that the angles are right - the wind comes onshore at the irght angle to the shoreline, and the seafloor slope is such that the waves are tolerable.

Disclosure: I used to sit and chat to Malcolm about this on the ferry over to the IoW when they were testing the first boat.

Vic.

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Re: As a sailor, that's hardly practical.

But it's what gets learned that's so great about it not the practicality. First the tech will move to race yachts and then to more personal craft and maybe even bigger and better things. According to this video the new Kiwi boat for the America's Cup hit 40 kts with winds of 17. If accurate I imagine Larry and the rest of team Oracle have just soiled their pants and that if it holds up in similar 27 knot winds it would be going over 60.

Awesome stuff all around.

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Re: As a sailor, that's hardly practical.

@Voland's right hand

You're right - SF bay is shielded from the Atlantic. What sort of effect does the Pacific have on it?

Phil.

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@Eponymous Cowherd (was: Re: "Practical")

"Holy shit" was pretty much what I said the first time I saw her moving at speed on The Bay. I was doing maybe 15 knots in my Monk cruiser (heading for lunch at the Fog City Dinner & an afternoon ballgame). I've been in some fast surface craft in my time, including offshore power boats & pickle-fork drag boats, but THAT thing is the most bitchin' thing I've ever seen on the water. I mean, a sailboat throwing a rooster tail THAT long? You gotta be kidding! The videos don't do it justice. Really, really neat bit of kit.

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@PhilBuk (was: Re: As a sailor, that's hardly practical.)

Except around the Golden Gate itself (where Oracle got into trouble), the Pacific has surprisingly little effect on The Bay. Mainly tides and resulting currents. Eyeball an areal shot of the Bay Area & Delta, and see how small the GG strait really is. Also consider that it is the drain for both the American and Sacramento river watersheds.

The Pacific also provides our loverly sea-fog, which provides natural air conditioning during the summer months. When visiting The Bridge (and indeed SF and Marin in general!), wear layered clothing ... I have personally seen it go from a sunny 95F on the SF end to a foggy, soggy 45F on the Marin side :-)

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Re: @PhilBuk (was: As a sailor, that's hardly practical.)

Three big watersheds. I forgot the San Joaquin ... Why do I always forget the San Joaquin? Ah, well. I'm only human. Mea culpa.

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.

But surely it's not valid unless they do the return leg within the following hour.

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Re: .

No the rules allow for this - this is just the hell for leather record that allows for the vagaries of wind - and machinery.

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Listening to the commentary

"This is fast... this is real fast" repeat

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But..

What's impressive is that its going double the speed of the actual wind because of the lift generated.

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Go

French sail-powered hydrofoil known as the ‘Hydroptère’

While we have now beaten the French (hurrah, three cheers for blighty, etc), the Hydroptère is a truly beautiful piece of engineering, much prettier than Sailrocket 2. And a proper ocean-going vessel to boot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ-gdqo35os

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Re: French sail-powered hydrofoil known as the ‘Hydroptère’

Hydroptere is basically just a brute force solution though.

I had a large slice of humble pie to eat when these guys hit their record, because when I saw their first craft I thought they didn't stand a prayer, but I spectacularly underestimated the level of committment and sustained effort the Sailrocket boys and girls were going to put into their project.

In many ways what these guys have done is roughly equivalent to breaking the sound barrier. For some time quite different sorts of high speed craft have been topping out around the 50knot region, because its about there you get into a phenomenum called cavitation where the blades that go in the water to control a craft create such low pressures around them that the water boils, and the things stop working.

The Sailrocket guys have genuinely got through the cavitation region and beyond, which hasn't been done before on an unpowered craft, and its a hell of an achievement. The most difficult engineering on this thing is not in the air, but in the water, and you can't praise them enough for achieving it.

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Re: French sail-powered hydrofoil known as the ‘Hydroptère’

Take back that downvote !

Fat fingers: smart phone & dumb screen layout

El Reg people : MOVE the expand comment from the up/ down vote area so us fat fingered smart phone users don't catch tbe wrong effing button - PLEASE

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Vic
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Re: French sail-powered hydrofoil known as the ‘Hydroptère’

> Take back that downvote !

You can't return to a "neutral" state, but you can change your downvote to an upvote...

Vic.

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Watching that makes me sad

Kewney would have loved it.

Simon

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That's vastly faster than the speed that Turbinia managed as the then fastest powered ship in the world, when she showed up the entire Navy at the Spithead naval review.

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Video

The pontoons were crossed up most of the time. Fine-tuning should deliver even greater speed !

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