The hunt for the world sailing speed record is on again: the target is 150 km/h (80.9935 miles per hour).
Possible? yes, if you watch the video now:
You’ll see how the Syroco Concept team wants to break the world speed record in 2022, which currently stands at 65.54 knots achieved by Vestas Sailrocket 2 in 2012.
Until now it has been thought that 65 knots was the maximum point that could be reached. Beyond this threshold, in simple terms, the boat/foil/sail combination becomes impossible to handle with the risk of disintegration. Now two teams want to prove that 80 knots is achievable.
The French Syroco team think they have solved the problem. The Syroco concept – named after the hot “sirocco” wind that originates in the Sahara desert – essentially consists of three components: the hull or module; a kite, which provides the driving force; and a hydrofoil, whose purpose is to compensate for the vertical force and provide a counterforce to the forces generated by the kite. This foil is on a long vertical with a T-foil at its base.
The foil and kite operate in tandem, so if the kite is flying higher in the air the foil will rotate to position itself deeper in the water and if the kite is closer to the surface of the water, the foil will move to be more horizontally aligned to the surface.
Although we are used to foils operating as lifting surfaces, the foil used by the French Syroco team will be used extensively to keep the whole boat in the sea and prevent it from flying away. In theory, this balancing of the forces of the foil and the kite generating power means that the more the kite pulls, the more negative lift will be needed on the foil to maintain balance.
But there is also another Swiss team, SP80, that wants to break 80 knots. With a different approach from Syroco. SP80 starts from a slightly more “normal” concept. To understand what SP80 is, watch this video,
In detail, SP80 will use two floats located on each side of the main cockpit to produce stability. In this sense, the concept is not so far removed from the current fastest sailing boat in the world, Sailrocket.
Also similar to the Sailrocket concept is a large foil at the aft end of the boat that will take care of the lateral forces of the kite. This foil will be what they call super-ventilated – ventilation is different to cavitation in that it refers to air being sucked along the length of the foil from the surface.
When the SP80 foils break the surface, they will manipulate this ventilated air in a similar way to how Syrocco manipulates the air created by cavitation pressure voids. So the team has superventilated rather than supercavitated foils.
Another super-ventilated foil is located at the bow, which will be used as a rudder, while two other small foils are located under each float to keep the boat flat on the surface of the water.
A key element of the SP80 concept, similar to the Syroco concept, will be the stern kite control module. This module can rotate around the circular aft section of the hull and is attached to the main foil.
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