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Vestas Sailrocket

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Vestas Sailrocket
Racing career
SkippersPaul Larsen

The Vestas Sailrocket was built to capture the sailing speed record competing in the B-class for 150 to 235 square feet of sail. It is piloted by the project leader Paul Larsen and sponsored by Danish wind turbines manufacturer Vestas. In 2008 the first version reached a reported unofficial speed of 52.22 knots (96.71 km/h),[1] before crashing.[2]

After being upgraded to a second version, the Vestas Sailrocket 2 began a campaign to break speed records in November 2012 off Walvis Bay, Namibia. On 12 November, it made a 54.08 knots (100.16 km/h) run over a 500 metres (1,600 ft) distance,[3] then 59.23 knots (109.69 km/h) on the 16th.[4] It attained 55.32 knots (102.45 km/h) on a one-mile run on the 18th and simultaneously 59.38 knots (109.97 km/h) on 500m.[5] On 24 November, with wind speeds at roughly 25 knots (46 km/h), it ran the 500m course at 65.45 knots (121.21 km/h) with a 68.01 knots (125.95 km/h) peak.[6] Both records are ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) for the 500m[7] and the mile.[8]

A Swiss team of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne university students and engineers, including members involved in the development of previous record-holder Hydroptère, formed in October 2019 to develop a new hydrofoil boat, SP80, to exceed the Vestas Sailrocket 2 record in 2022, with a target speed of 80 knots.[9] As of April 2023, the speed record attempts were pushed back to 2024 and are scheduled to take place in Leucate.[10]

See also

External media
image icon Vestas Sailrocket at 65+ knots
video icon 500 metre at 65.37 knots video


  1. ^ Laven, Kate (5 December 2008). "VestasSailrocket sets new speed record of 47.4 knots: Sailing". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  2. ^ Paul Larsen, ed. (3 December 2008). "Vestas Sailrocket goes BALLISTIC". Youtube. Archived from the original on 15 December 2021.
  3. ^ "WSSR Newsletter No 216. Vestas SailRocket 2. B Division 19/11/12". WSSR. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  4. ^ Paul Larsen (16 November 2012). "Super sonic.... Smashed it!!!". Vestas Sailrocket.
  5. ^ Paul Larsen (18 November 2012). "NEW PB... AND NAUTICAL MILE RECORD SMASHED!". Vestas Sailrocket.
  6. ^ Paul Larsen (28 November 2012). "BLOWN AWAY... THE 65 KNOT+ RUN (WITH VIDEO)". Vestas Sailrocket.
  7. ^ "Vestas Sailrocket 2 Outright Sailing Speed Record". WSSRC. 4 December 2010.
  8. ^ "Vestas Sailrocket. Outright and NM". WSSRC. 12 December 2012.
  9. ^ "SP80: the Swiss challenge to smash the current world sailing speed record in 2022". 19 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Leucate and Grand Narbonne, official venue for the World Sailing Speed Record". 4 April 2023.