only 13 days after its violent crash, the boat is ready to make a third attempt at the record

Just 13 days after a severe crash ( read previous story here ) Vestas Sailrocket is ready for another assault on the speed sailing course in Walvis Bay – its third and last.

The two-week turnaround is testament to a committed shore team, who have been working around the clock to get the boat ready for its final WSSRC ratified record period.

Skipper Paul Larsen commented:

“[In the video of the last crash] you can just make out the slack back beam stay arcing out to the left of the roll-bar. This means the beam is coming back. I’ve already gone to full lock on the steering and the boat is skidding sideways. We are still doing 45 knots and are about to pull -3.5G’s forward and 3.2G’s sideways as the whole show comes to a thumping halt in less than a second. I remember this bit.”

I can’t think of another boat that has had a more tortured life and has still been capable of coming out number 1. She carries many scars from battle and what a battle it’s been. I think that on the last run she felt it was time that I took some of the damage… just so I know what it feels like!

Despite getting knocked about pretty hard on the last run, I can’t wait to get back into the cockpit? The last crash had nothing to do with the boat or the concept. It was more a case of using the wrong system in the wrong place and not changing it because…it worked before.

This combined with good ol’ chafe of the dormant back-up strop is what brought it all to a grinding halt. The blame for this lies squarely on my shoulders. This time when I go out I will be wearing a full-face helmet, a HANS (Head and neck support) brace and a harness to keep me back in the confines of the roll-bar. The harness won’t let me go forward… but will allow me to fall out if inverted. Before the last two crashes I would have said this was all over the top for a sailing boat… but I’ve been over the top now!!!”

Video of Vestas Sailrocket’s run last year – April 2008