Back in 1993 Yellow Pages took the World Speed Record from the windsurfers and affectively killed Speed sailing for 10 years. However back in 2004 Finian took the record back to us windsurfers where it has stayed ever since.
Now however windsurfing has a fresh challenge. The "Wot Rocket" is a 400kg half sail boat and half sail plane, that basically consists of a 9 metre canoe style hull, with a 9 square metre fixed wing sail and a small crew pod compartment.
The principle behind the craft is to use a new technology that is pretty much untested at the moment. It uses supercavitation to reduce the water friction. We are not physicists, but basically it disrupts the water enough that the boat then passes through air rather than through water, kind of like spinning out, but we hope with more control. The impressive thing about the boats is that they need just 20 knots to get up to speed where as the windsurfers need 50!
The first test for the crazy craft is a safety test in the Qantas Jet Base pool (Sydney) this Thursday 8 May at 10am. Then they hit the water to see its full potential. If the GPS says its working well, then they will be on the phone to the Speed Sailing Council to get an official attempt going.
I am sure Antione will be watching it closely to see if they can take his newly gained record. The race to 50kts is now really on and with all the windsurfing record attempts on hold now until the Autumn it will be a stressful time for the speed sailors.