- 25 October 2009 | Windsurfing
The competition to be the world’s fastest wind-powered craft heated up this month, and all eyes are on Namibia. The UK based sailboat, Vestas Sailrocket, is currently doing speed trials in Walvis Bay, the largest port city in the country, in an attempt to break the current outright speed sailing record.
Sailrocket and its crew have been in Namibia since October 2 and plan to stay there until October 29, determined to leave with a new world record, seizing it back from the French yacht team, l’Hydroptère.
Just over a month ago this sophisticated hydrofoil trimaran set a new world outright speed sailing record of 51.36 knots, taking the crown of ‘world’s fastest’ away from the kiteboarding community and establishing a new standard for all wind powered crafts, especially sail boats, which have not held the title since 1993 when it was taken by windsurfers for the next fifteen years.
“It’s the outright record that we all strive for,” says Sailrocket pilot/project manager Paul Larsen on their website. “This means that ultimately we have to beat the board riders as well. Now, thanks to l’Hydropterè, the boat record IS the outright speed sailing record.”
With just a little over a week to go until the start of the 2009 Lüderitz Speed challenge, and good weather forecasted for Sailrocket and it’s crew, the highly contested title of ‘world’s fastest’ seems all but secure for them.
Until November, when the kiteboarders are set to do everything they can to keep the title.