Paul Larsen's Vestas Sailrocket project has provided plenty of drama over the years... but not yet reached its goal of setting a new outright speed sailing record. However, Sailrocket 2 is currently in Namibia and signs are looking promising. The target is a 500 metre average of 55.65 knots (the current record held by American kitesurfer Rob Douglas). In its run on November 12, 2012, Vestas Sailrocket recorded the following data:

Peak speed 61.92 knots.
500 metre average 54.08 knots
5 second average 59.08 knots


Reflecting on the run the following day, Paul Larsen said: "Busy day today sorting out everything from yesterday's madness. Great to wake up in the middle of the night realising it's not a dream. The next potential forecast is for Friday/Saturday. After looking at all of yesterday's data I know we can smash this."It's funny now to see that speeds of 52 and 53 knots are dragging down your average. It's a new ball game now. Let's hope that mother nature comes to it."

Meanwhile, the current holder of the outright world speed sailing record, Rob Douglas, is on his way to Salin Du Giraud, France to attempt to better his record.

Written by: Gael Pawson
Gael Pawson is the editor of Yachts & Yachting Magazine and the founder of Creating Waves. A keen racer, she has sailed all her life, and started writing about the subject whilst studying journalism at university. Dinghies and small keelboats are her first loves, but she has cruised and raced a huge variety of boats in locations across the world.