Looks like 70 knots is on their hit list.


Hey all, We are working as quick as our small team can to share this with you via video and the like. It's a constant job just to make my e-mail list go down rather than up. It's a bloody big job to make these videos. The new cameras generate such massive files and the pro cameras Ben is shooting on still use tape so all the footage has to be digitised and stored for editing. All this means we have 3 1 terabyte hard drives feeding into one smoking Mac laptop. Ben is a pro at this and is working 24 hours a day on it. Whilst his computer is crunching footage... he's outside setting up interviews and sharing imagery with media. I'm so glad we focused on bringing someone of his capabilities down here.
I've decided that I'm done for this session. It's Helenas turn... but the forecast looks dead flat from here on in. It might change. We will be on a plane in 8 days. I'm not even sure if we should ship the boat back or not. I'm sure this boat can see the other side of 70. The only reason she stopped going quicker was because the leeward side of the boat was flying too high. The way we resolve that is to stand the rig up some more. This gives both power and stability. It's all good. In theory we should be maxxing out the foil... but it's how it behaves when it starts reaching its limits that is interesting. The boat and the concept it is based on has so much power to drag stuff down the course that it's alarming. That was the design goal of this boat..."let's not simply focus on the foil... let's build the platform that will give ANY FOIL the best possible chance of hitting its limits... then we will worry about the foil". I think we have seen this power played out by the fact that the boat has dragged every 'shape' and size we have put on it down the course at over 52 knots. To go faster we can add more power i.e. sail in more wind OR reduce drag... or both. There are other foil concepts that are worth exploring. We chose this one as we considered it to be the safe option.
I'm so happy with how the team performed last saturday. We took on the big day with a view to winning... not just competing. Mother nature delivered us one hour of perfection for this whole 28 day record attempt. The other days were good... but for 1 hour it was strong and rock steady... 28,29,29,29,29,28,29,27,27,29.... Helena was just reading out the same numbers over the VHF. Industrial Walvis Bay wind. It has been mentioned that we had one from being the hunter to the hunted... I sort of played along... but a little deeper down I knew we still had a job to be finished. When we knocked Rob off the top spot we had topped their leader... now we were coming back to wipe the village out. We did three runs that day. The first two didn't quite go right. We topped over 61 knots on the first two but just didn't get the average. We wanted to finish it once and for all and by the third run we were hungry to tear it apart. It started badly but we recovered and got onto the course. I was checking for damage as we accelerated through 60 knots but the speed was epic so I knew I had to keep the hammers down. This was it.
Anyway, it's time to write the blog properly so I'll finish it there. If we had have missed that hour and not got started... that would have been it. 59.38 would be the mark. I believe that the kiters can beat this. I don't think they will get near 65.45 with what they have now. If any of the kiters can actually pull off a 60 knot run it will be super impressive and we won't feel so untouchable. The thing is that we are not at our limits. This boat will see the other side of 70 oneday. It nearly did the other day. It's awake now and it's still hunting. You have to consider that at some early stage of the design process we had the discussion "What limits are we designing for"? We set a speed as the Vne for the craft but even that has safety margins. The answer to that question is the big one. that's our secret.
The concept still doesn't even have a name. Bernard Smith used to call them Aero-Hydrofoils but I personally don't feel that quite explains it. Homage must be paid to that wonderful guy some way or another.
Right, so the video is coming. Some of the angles we have captured are fantastic. I can't wait to see it myself.
I called our local Champagne dealer yesterday morning... She answered with "F**k off" and hung up. That's a sign that things are going well