Team Sailrocket is returning to prepare "VSR2" with its newly designed foil at 'speed spot' in Walvis Bay, Namibia. The designers are confident that time spent re-asessing the foil will enable the boat to negotiate the 'cavitation barrier'. Aerotrope's Chris Hornzee-Jones explains it like this: Cavitation can be likened to the hydrodynamic equivalent of the 'Sound Barrier'. The property of the water changes as it turns from liquid to vapour on certain parts of the foil. This requires a very different approach to how you design them. The problem gets even more complicated as air from the surface also tries to get sucked down onto the foil and cause it to lose grip. This mixture of air, vapour and very high-speed water is all very dynamic and extremely hard to model by computer or even in high-speed flow tanks. Most projects to date have simply pushed conventional foil theory to the limits and that's why speed sailing is stuck at the current speeds in the low 50's. VESTAS Sailrocket 2 was designed from the outset to be a breakthrough boat. It is designed to be an ideal testing platform for trialling new foil concepts which will allow us to break through this 'glass ceiling' and perform at speeds well over 60 knots.
The Outright speed record currently stands at 55.65 knots (64 mph), held by U.S. Kite Surfer Rob Douglas. Click here to find up-to-date Sailrocket news.
aerotrope image copyright: Sailrocket