Now... Let's see what she can really do!

 Well the big forecast is playing out. It's 1017 here and the wind is already in. Our little corner of the Walvis Bay Yacht Club is buzzing as we prepare for the big day that we know lies ahead.

This is the first big wind day we have had in over 6 weeks now.

Today we focus purely on taking the outright record over 60 knots.

The project has been going on a big up for some time now and we want it to continue that way. Things can easily go the other way. The day is going to pump. We used to try and use that power to punch through our glass ceilings but now we have shown that we don't need it. We are operating at around 2.4-2.5 times windspeed and a few more knots makes a big difference. The thing is that whilst we know we will have a lot more power if it's gusting up to 30... what we don't know is what the nature of our drag curve is up ahead. Is it gradual or is it another 'brick wall'. On paper we expect cavitation to happen just over 65 knots. That's on paper. How it manifests itself is yet to be seen. This boat is damned powerful and in 30 knots, sheeted in hard with around 65-70 knots of apparent wind it's going to be one hell of a tug of war between the wing and the foil. VSR2 is being optimised for a big number. The pitch of the main foil has been reduced by 0.25 degrees, fairings have been added to the front of the stub beam (which holds the foil) and the outboard flap that controls the height of the leeward float has had its negative pitch range increased to help me keep it all on the level.

Yes I'm nervous. This is a big day.


I've already got the music ready for when we suit up.

Spiderbait, RATM, Pleasurade... that'll do it... 'Feelin' good' by Muse has already made an appearance.


Righto, let's see if we can take this to the next level.


Hopefully we will see you on the other side.

Cheers, Paul


(Helena will be tweeting as usual. The tweets appear on the front page)



Congratulations ! Great

Congratulations !
Great vision and great achievement !
Thanks for the trip
Looking forward for the future...


Well done guys I did not think I would be pleased to see the kite surfers loose the record but blimey, you deserve it and in style!

Well Done Guys!

I would like to think that I was your lucky rabbit's foot by finding you accidentally at Walvis Bay Yacht Club as you suited up this morning for your record attempt ;)

Bill(Watamu, Kenya)


Paul-it's unbelievable!! Yes...congratulations, but there's so much more to say. You've done what you set out to do, and so much more. What a month you've had!

Is there any more left in SR2?

I envisioned today's music was "Ride of the Valkyries"....didn't you napalm the course today? Outstanding!

Bet the Luderitzspeed folks have gotten the message. Cheers!

Tim (Vermont)

To all others: Go fly a kite

Well now, it would seem that the the slow inching up of the bar of the recent years is HISTORY.

All others seeking the outright will now need to re-group and think again. They might as well sit on a beach and fly a toy kite rather that try to beat VSR2 with their current equipment.

Your record is safe. Great achievement.

Still waiting for Helana to get a chance in decent winds :).

Yeah. F**k yeah!

Not quite sure yet if what I'm seeing is right, but it looks like you mob have finally done what you've been working towards and I've always hoped you'd do. Not just set a record, but changed the game.
Was excited a few days ago but now am fully stoked.
Toasting 60knots. Wasn't going to be happy with less. :-)
65 - now that's a bonus. And a mind-f*ck.
Just fantastic.

Oh my.... 67.74 knots and 65.37 average was a real tweet!

Seems as though the boat has no upper limit. holy cow!

nature of the drag curve

The drag curve was exactly what I was thinking. Interesting that the foil was designed for cavitation at 65 knots when I thought that barrier has already been crossed at 50 knots. Especially when evidence of pitting from cavitation bubbles is already apparent on the fin. Also as the transition to full cavitation sets in, a pitch change in the lift profile of the fin I would image, is what you've explained in past posts, to be the greatest contributor to this drag curve barrier. Is there a way to gradually adjust this relative pitch as the speed of the boat increases? The run happens so fast.

This would be akin to some degree to a ventilating windsurfing fin, though not induced by cavitation, the pitch change in the board at a much higher angle of attach to maintain the same sailing direction. It's like the board scoots out from under you twisted a bit leaving your body in a awkward position when your feet are strapped in.

I wish I had pictures of the sailboats I created as a young man in high school. I won a 600 dollar cash scholarship to use toward college, but I used it instead to make a boat similar in design to a twin windsurfing board catamaran. It was heavy and I really layered on the fiberglass and polyester resin for strength. The boat was 8 foot in length and I had a 6 foot bow sprit on it for massive sail power. It was a pitch pole machine to say the least. Only tried sailing it once. It could sail but the boat could never get over it's own bow wave to plane. That was twenty years back.

For everyone for cavitation and speed, say aye!

Best of luck!

Watching your progress, guys; congratulations on achievements to date and best of luck for the final push. I came by Walvis HQ last month and, chatting to Paul, discovered we both knew Jonathan Howes - me from aviation, Paul from speed sailing, of course! All the best, Padhraic Kelleher (Godalming, Surrey, UK).

Incredible, just incredible :-)

The glass is never half full or empty to an engineer, just too big for purpose, 68 knots, you (the whole team) designed her over spec :-)

It's seems like ten years since I spoke endlessly to Malcom about this, hold on, it was ten years ago :-)

Well done, enjoy, just the best news ever !!!


congrats to the team, an amazing path to 65
aloha Don Montague

Totally amazing

Fantastic achievement and congratulations to you all

I can't believe that you have raised the bar so high, but every one of those knots was hard earned. Huge respect not only for smashing the record, but for the way you did it

Enjoy the champagne



Great result!

65.37 over 500m is a record that should stand for quite a while (unless you go out again, of course) - many congratulations to all concerned!
Very best to all,

is it for real ?

live from twitter:
Ok mental speed,s!!! On the GT-31 gps 67.74 and an average 500m 65.37! Yihaaaaaaaaaa...

totally incredible and awesome, it would be 10 knots higher than previous record !!!
do you get bored with french champaign ?


Congratulations to you and your team Paul. What you have done is truly inspirational.
The way you have approached your quest is a lesson to everyone who dreams big.
You have never given up and you enthusiasm shines through.
I particularly appreciate they you have handled your success. Just an Aussie well done boys rather than an American style carry on.
You don't need rah rah. You have acheived something great and that stands up for itself.
Enjoy this time, you have well and truly earned it.
Best wishes and a hardy congratulations,

Go for it Paul, here's to the

Go for it Paul, here's to the +60kt average.

Super Saturday

Well, good luck today.
I know how it feels, heading out to attempt to break a World Sailing Speed Record when there is plenty of wind, even rather more than you would like. It's not like you can reef the wingsail. On Jacob's Ladder we could reduce the number of Flexifoil kites from 15 to 13 and still stay in 'C' class. That helped - sometimes!
So my thoughts are with you today, fingers crossed.

Go for it. Really good luck to you.

Martin Rayment

Go for it

Go for it guys. This is when we really find out what a wonderful machine you have. Stay safe - cannot wait to see what you can do!

Go team VSR2!!

Paul and team
Have a fantastic day out there. Sail safe. Can't wait to see what you and she are capable of producing
All the best

Good luck today

It's been a long while coming, my thoughts are with the whole team. Nice to know Malcom is there too to see her fly :-)

Fingers crossed,

thumbs up, knocked on wodd ....
Go for it, best of luck, make it back in one piece

New record today?

As frebchie will say: M..........
Cheers, Henry

Go, Paul, GO!

You and all the team already did magic, now aim serendipitously higher...

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