Knocked into the stratosphere

Helena Darvelid /
Vestas SailRocket demolishes sailing speed world record
They’ve done it... After 10 years of hard graft, Paul Larsen and his Vestas SailRocket team has destroyed the world sailing speed record on board their radical 40ft long by 40ft wide, neutral stability yacht. The fastest man afloat was American kiteboard Rob Douglas, who in 2010 set a new average speed down a 500m course of 55.65 knots. But on Friday on Walvis Bay in Namibia, Vestas SailRocket averaged a monstrous 59.23 knots (all outstanding records mentioned in this article are subject to ratification by the WSSRC). To put this into perspective, this 3.58 knot hike is the largest leap the World Sailing Speed record has ever seen since its records started with Tim Colman’s pedestrian 26.3 knots on Crossbow back in 1972. Biggest leaps in the outright World Sailing Speed record: Year Type Skipper Where Av speed Spd jump 2011 Neutral stability foiler Paul Larsen, AUS