Sailrocket 2 breaks sailing speed record at 68 mph

The missile-shaped Sailrocket 2 broke the Outright World Speed Sailing Record on Walvis Bay.

(Credit: Vestas)

If you think wind power will never get you anywhere, take a ride on the Sailrocket 2, a specially engineered sailboat that has set a new sailing speed record.

Sponsored by Danish wind turbine maker Vestas, the Sailrocket accelerated to 59.23 knots (68.1 mph) on Walvis Bay off the coast of Namibia. The speed was the best average time over 500 meters (546 yards), but the craft was later clocked at 64.78 knots (74.5 mph).

The World Sailing Speed Record Council has certified a speed of 54.08 knots (62.2 mph) and is assessing faster claims.

The 40-foot, British-built craft weighs just over 600 pounds but skims along the water on hydrofoils. It was built from carbon fiber with a core of Nomex Honeycomb, a composite material. Titanium was also used in the construction.

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