The first boat (officially) to 50 knots

Macquarie Innovations co-pilot Tim Daddo on finally achieving their objective after 15 years of trying
After an impressive 15 years of trying, last Thursday Simon McKeon, Tim Daddo and the rest of Lindsay Cunningham’s Macquarie Innovation team, succeeded in becoming the first ‘boat’ to a sustain a speed in excess of 50 knots over a 500m course at their base in Sandy Point some 200km southeast of Melbourne. These speeds have of course been achieved last year by French kiteboarders Sebastien Cattelan and subsequently Alexandre Caizergues, who officially holds the outright speed record over a 500m course of 50.57 knots. On Thursday Macquarie Innovation and her two pilots, McKeon and Daddo, recorded 50.43 average down the course and this corrects down to 50.18 knots taking into account the tide. These numbers are still awaiting to be ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, but have been given the thumbs up by the official WSSRC measurer who was on site at the time. At present while it will not gain the team the outright speed record it will secure them a new C-Class record for vessels with 150 and 235sqft of sail area. This they had already broken last year with a speed run averaging 48.14 knots. Tim Daddo talked to thedailysail about the record: “The project all started back in 1994 after Yellow Pages was timed for part of its run at somewhere between 52 and 56 knots, so pretty much from that stage on we have known that the concept is capable of doing a 50 knot average. Unfortunately it took a lot longer than we thought to get there, but we are very proud of the fact that we have got there.” So what came right on Thursday night? “It has been a combination of a number of things, the most significant of which is the fact that we have finally been able to