Rollover. The top of the "Sailrocket" points to the sky.
Photo gallery: How "Sailrocket 1" breaks down
The Australian Paul Larsen has entered the record books spectacularly with his “Sailrocket”. On the 500 meter speed strip in Walvis Bay off Namibia, it reached a higher speed than the French 10-man hydrofoil yacht “Hydroptère” (46.15 knots).
Larsen recorded a top speed of 51.76 knots. “Sailrocket” showed an astonishing efficiency. Because the wind only blew at an average of 22 knots. Officially, that was enough for the B-Class world record. More important is the unofficial title “fastest sailing boat”. Surfers (49.09 knots) and kiters (50.57 knots) are faster on the 500 meter route.
The kite surfers have recently broken the 50 knot barrier several times and are clearly the fastest sailing vehicles. The much criticized rule change by the World Sailing Speed Record Council a few weeks ago does not change that. They took the kiters out of the ranking by the absolute record.
“Sailrocket” celebrated its success, although it had to cope with a spectacular rollover after the record run. On the second attempt, pilot Paul Larsen took off in a 25 knot gust and a speed of 52 knots and overturned.
Larsen: “Sailrocket accelerated like never before. Suddenly my nose rose and it became very quiet,”says Larsen. "I flew. I waited for the serve. But there wasn't one. Not even when the ship turned on its back. I had to fly very high. At least as high as the mast.
It hit hard. I got a couple of bruises. The helmet was smashed. But I got out of the cockpit in a flash. I was very disappointed with the accident. We knew that could happen. The profile sail has suffered a lot. Hopefully it's not too bad. We want to get back on the water as soon as possible. The record runs in Namibia are supposed to last until the 20th."