Steering problems

Langman and Thompson slowly working up Wot Rocket

Monday June 23rd 2008, Author: Lisa Ratcliff, Location: United Kingdom
The Wot Rocket team packed up at Kurnell last Friday following their most successful week of testing according to creator and pilot Sean Langman.

Another valuable finding came from Friday’s test sail, the crew of Langman and co-pilot Martin Thompson discovering that each time Wot Rocket’s pod went to lift out of the water, the pilot experienced difficulties steering.

The team realised that the rudder’s aluminium control rods were bending so this week those rods are being replaced with carbon fibre rods. The rudder is also being reshaped so it’s better balanced and doesn’t self-centre.

Thursday’s forecast is the most promising for the week with a 15-20 knot WNW breeze expected however Langman says “it will be a scramble to be ready by Thursday given the latest round of modifications”.

He believes a weekend test sail is more realistic but with the long range forecast showing the breeze only hovering in the 10-12 knot range for both Saturday and Sunday, the prospect of Wot Rocket getting up on its foils, which is when supercavitation is expected to come into play, looks set to be deferred for another time.

“We are slowly clawing our way forward,” says Langman, who still has plenty of fire in his belly, particularly with the latest threat from the French to pip him to post in the race to break through 50 knots, the holy grail of sailing.

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