PDA

View Full Version : 30 Knots Plus: Vestas Sail Rocket Reving Up!



PD Staff
05-23-2011, 03:54 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/46467336203522935810.jpg


A very promising day today as VESTAS Sailrocket 2 thrust the team effortlessly into the fridge for the 30 knot bottle of Pol Roger champagne. Nice. I'm not going to even try and dramatise it as it felt so cruisy and natural. VSR2 is simply dropping into her element and she feels right. I have no doubt that we will just as easily knock the next bottle over. Damn she felt rock solid. Like a grunty car slipping into top gear at 50 mph... you know a whole world of speed... I just said I wasn't going to do that. It was cool though.

We woke up this morning to a text from very good friends Martin and Henda who are living on their yacht out on a mooring in the Bay. They told us that the SW wind was already blowing and to expect wind this afternoon. It is extremely unusual to get a SW wind first thing in the morning but nonetheless we hit the Yacht club expecting to sail. The wind didn't abate so I pushed the guys(and girl) to get their jobs done and focus on getting wet. The afternoon high tides have left us and we now have to go out around all the sand bars at low tide. The water is having some sulphur 'bloom' thing going on so it is milky aqua, very cold, starved of oxygen and smells of rotten eggs. The fish can't breath underwater so the birds have a field day grabbing them all on the surface. It's a Walvis thing.

By the time we got over to 'speed-spot' it was gusting to 25 knots and by the time we got the wing up it was hitting near 28. I decided to hold and the wing came down. Whilst VSR2 should be able to sail in these conditions, so much is getting added on and modified between these early sessions that it is simply too soon to push. The cockpit has been changed immensely and all the COSWORTH data loggers and their associated looms are now crammed in there. I have to get familiar with it all and comfortable enough to know the sequences when things get heated. Today was supposed to be a day to ease me into this new cockpit... not throw me to the speed sailing lions.

So we stood down and waited. I'm getting a good feel for this place now. I refer to local knowledge but don't assume it's always right.


http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/76002014831338187012.jpg

We got it pretty much spot on today as we hit the course a couple of hours later and at pretty much the ideal time. The wind was 17-20 knots. I went through the ropes on the tow up the course and felt semi-confident I could get them all right. The new systems did their jobs and we sailed over the 'hump' quite easily once again. I was now sitting down in the forward facing and angled cockpit and quickly became aware how weird it was not to be able to see the boat and sails ahead of you. It was great to have the COSWORTH instruments in the cockpit to reference the wing and rudder angles. I sheeted in from the start up settings and VSR2 just shot forward. She was no longer mushing but was now riding hard and firm on the surface.

You can see that the top wing section wasn't sheeting in properly and was in fact fully eased. In fact there are a number of details that will make the wing significantly more powerful... but once again, pure speed was not the objective of the day. Preparing for pure speed was. The steering response was fantastic, all the controls worked... but some need to be tidied up. The ride was clean, spray free... almost majestic compared to our first boat. I used to get hammered by spray at 30 knots but not in this boat. I knew we were over 30 knots and finished the run early as it was low tide and the shallows at the end of the course beckoned.

We tried another run before sunset hoping to bag the 40 knot bottle but a detail slipped through the net and we weren't able to go for speed. By this time it was dark and we were happy to head home.

So it was all good. The work we had done in the week between sails had all shown its worth and the week ahead lies openly beckoning us to give it a good 'nudge'.

I think tomorrow is going to also be windy so let's see what we can come up with.

I'm now tempted to jump straight to the 'funky' foil to see if it too can jump through the hoops. It is the foil for which VESTAS Sailrocket 2 is built so why not get it out now?

Looking at all these photos of VSR2 sliding along now... well it's just plain cool. It's working. It's coming to life. It is a ship at heart and it IS going to take us to amazing places. I love having it in my life and this is exactly where I want to be.

The team are doing a great job. We are all witnessing our efforts bear fruit. Things happen fast in small, dynamic teams. You think of things in a bar and build it tomorrow. That afternoon it's being tested. The skills in this particular team are very diverse. It's a pleasure to watch them rip into it.

Righto, bed time. Yes, yes... of course there is a video to come... but tomorrows will probably be better;)

Cheers, Paul.

http://www.sailrocket.com

PD Staff
05-24-2011, 11:20 AM
Today VESTAS Sailrocket 2 strolled over 40 knots to become the second '40-knot sailboat' based on the concepts of Bernard Smith.

http://www.sailrocket.com/sites/default/files/3_1280x692.jpg

It really was effortless.

We made some changes to the pitch of the main foil in order to help lift the rear float clear of the water and it all worked a treat. The steering was great and it all just felt smooth. To be honest I was surprised that we hit 40 knots. It turns out the average was 37 knots over 500 meters. The wind wasn't that strong. Maybe 20 knots.

SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!!

We still aren't hitting the numbers of the first boat but then these are still early days. Malcolm thought that we would have ventilation problems around the high 30's and he may be right. Whilst fences would help sort that problem out, I decided to peel straight to the cavitating/ventilated section. Jeffro and Jonny were dispatched back to the container to pick up the other foil... and a bottle of Champagne. We plugged the new foil on and headed back up the course. The wind had died enough to deny us another good run with the new foil so we happily called it a day.


http://www.sailrocket.com/sites/default/files/2_1246x800.jpg

ANOTHER BOTTLE BITES THE DUST.

This is all in stark contrast to the effort we put in to getting the first boat over 40 knots. That took three years and quite a bit of trauma.



So now we need to see the new foil work. If it does then it will be an all out speed grab. The trouble is that tomorrow may well be our last day with any decent wind. Well, we will see. One things for sure though... this new boat is 'gagging' for it.

Nice one 'Barney'. This bottles for you.



Cheers, Paul.

PD Staff
05-31-2011, 09:39 AM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/76002014831338187012.jpg


Tue, 31 May 11 16:57

Well, I'm standing here in a half peeled Musto drysuit. Unfortunately it is coming off rather than going on. We have been on full 'booted and suited' standby with Jeff over on speed-spot giving wind reports via the VHF. The whole base camp has been pulled apart and only VESTAS Sailrocket 2 sits out there intact... but not for long. We are about to descend on her like a bunch of insects and dismember her for storage.

We did all we could to have one more shot but the wind didn't play ball and the 50 knot bottle remains corked. There's nothing we can do about the weather other than be here fully prepared for when the good stuff comes.

On the up side... we have survived the first full testing session fully intact. We have made nothing but solid progress and have introduced the second true '40-knot sailboat' into the world.

This isn't the windy part of the year so these 'soft' days are pretty much the norm. For the same cost we can come back when the wind is pumping and get more full-on days for our dollar.

So that's it for now folks. The next sailing day will be in September. The team will have changed. There will be some old and new faces joining us although I have no idea who it will be right now. It depends who is available. This team has been great and we have had a lot of fun. It really doesn't feel like work despite the silly amount of hours we spend around the boat.

Thanks for all your comments and e-mails of support. They are all read and all appreciated.

Ok, we have a lot to do so I will leave it short.

I'm happy.



Cheers, Paul