Vestas Sailrocket sets new speed record

The high-speed catamaran with wing sail, custom-built for the record run, is made with composite materials.

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The Vestas Sailrocket team broke the outright world speed sailing record on November 16, at Walvis Bay in Namibia. SP-High Modulus, the marine business of Gurit (Isle of Wight, U.K.)has been involved with the Sailrocket project from the very early stages and supplied materials, along with technical services, to the project.

The Sailrocket team reached speeds of 59.23 knots (around 70mph) over the 500m/1,625-ft course at Walvis Bay in Namibia. Sailrocket’s peak speed during the record-breaking run was an amazing 62.53 knots in winds of just 25 knots. The outright world speed sailing record is set by taking the average speed of a craft between two points set 500 metres apart. The previous record stood at 55.65 knots (around 64mph) set by a kitesurfer, Rob Douglas.

SP-High Modulus has been involved with the Sailrocket project from the very early stages and supplied materials including Ampreg 22, prepregs from SP-High Modulus’ SE 84LV and SE 70 product ranges and some dry reinforcements, along with technical services to the project.

Paul Goddard, General Manager Marine at SP-High Modulus, commented: “Everyone at SP-High Modulus is delighted that Sailrocket team have achieved their goal of breaking the world speed sailing record. The team have put in a lot of work to make this happen and we congratulate them on their achievement.” Paul Larsen, Sailrocket project manager and pilot, tweeted "We've smashed the arse off it!" at the conclusion of the record run.

More information on the Sailrocket project can be found at www.sailrocket.com