Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fastest Sailboat

There are all sorts of speed records for sailboats: distance in 24 hours, speed over 500 meters, etc. etc. The governing body for establishing records is the World Sailing Speed Record Council. The record for speed over 500 meters is an astonishing 51.36 knots, set by Alain Thebault in 2009. A photo of the boat at speed is below.

During trials SailRocket, a contender but not the record holder, touched 68 knots and then crashed. (Scroll down the link for an astounding video.)

Perhaps more fantastic is the record for distance over 24 hours, set by the 40 meter trimaran Banque Populaire V, shown here. The distance covered? 908 nautical miles, giving an average speed of 37.84 knots! She set this record during her successful 2009 bid to set a new record for a west to east passage of the Atlantic under sail: 3 days, 15 hours, 25 minutes and 48 seconds, Ambrose Light to The Lizard, 2,880 miles, average speed 32.94 knots.
If you please, in 1952 the S.S. United States, considered the fastest liner ever built, set a record for an eastbound crossing at an average speed of 35.59 knots. And burned a lot of Bunker C to do so.

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