Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Need for Speed

It’s not often that sailing makes it into a publication like Popular Science but when we’re talking about breaking the speed sailing barrier of 50 knots, it makes very good sense. One of the tremendous things about writing this weblog – a labor of love essentially – is that I learn more about my sailing passion every day. In this case I was not aware that the record for speed of any wind-powered craft on water was 46.52 knots as set by the Australian trimaran Yellow Pages over ten years ago. Hell, I get excited when we break 7 knots on a reach….I shudder to think what would happen if I was on a craft making nearly 55 miles per hour by sail alone. Certainly a change of underwear would be appreciated. Anyway read on. According to the article the most promising record seeker are small single-pilot craft that are propelled with solid wingsails. Many take advantage of hyperlightweight composite materials; some are as much airplane as traditional sailboat. They will vie for the record at Speed Week, held off the coast of Weymouth in the south of England each October. Anyone owning a sled and lacking the basic sense of self preservation, come on down...

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