Sailrocket seek sponsorship

Paul Larsen and Malcolm Barnsley's world speed sailing record breaker now well underway

Tuesday December 31st 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
The Southampton based SAILROCKET team have announced that 2003 is the year in which their revolutionary new boat will begin its assault on the outright world speed sailing record. They have named their assault 'The Quest for the Perfect Reach'.

"With major parts of the construction completed and with others underway we are well down the path of completing all the moulds," states Paul Larsen, the 32 year old Australian who plans to pilot SAILROCKET. "What comes out of those moulds may well be one of the most significant boats of recent times. Certainly the prettiest."

Designer of SAILROCKET, 42 year old senior tst Engineer at NEG-Micon, Malcolm Barnsley adds "the devil is in the detail and there is still a good couple of months of design work before we can start the final build. The wind-tunnel testing being carried out by students at Southampton University may yet reveal things that we may wish to incorporate. Great ideas are still coming up as we learn more and more about the nature of our endeavour and these could have a significant effect on the outcome. While we don't want to rush or compromise, we also appreciate the value of full-scale testing and would like to be on the water later in 2003."

Malcolm and Paul joined forces a little over a year ago and are very happy with progress to date. Paul adds: ' The extensive 1:5 scale model testing we have been conducting has offered many insights into the difficulties of speed sailing and the handling characteristics of this amazing craft. With your backside an inch off water which at speeds around 50 knots will be hard as concrete and only meters off the beach….. you want to be confident that you have the right boat. The model has performed bang-on projected calculations assuring us of the designs potential.'

The team consider 2003 to be a significant year in record-breaking terms. One hundred years ago the Wright brothers first took to the air, twenty years ago Richard Noble and the 'Thrust' team reclaimed the world land speed record for England and ten years ago the world speed sailing record was claimed by the Australian Yellow Pages Endeavour. Despite many attempts by craft of all shapes, it is yet to be beaten.

The Australian team with their new boat Macquarie Innovations, failed to break their own record of 46.52 knots which they established in 1993 after two prolonged attempts in 2002. The record has stood for ten years and is ripe to be broken. The 50-knot barrier is also tantalizingly close.

Southampton itself has a long and strong history with speed records being the port of departure/arrival of many great Blue Riband Trans-Atlantic attempts as well as being home to the Supermarine factory which claimed many speed records in aviation including the outright record in 1931 by the S6.B, which was the predecessor of the legendary Spitfire.

SAILROCKET would like to thank NEG-Micon rotors and SP systems for the help so far and welcome Musto clothing onboard as clothing sponsor.

A title sponsor is still being sought to join the SAILROCKET team for this record-breaking endeavour.

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