THE Hampshire-based “world’s fastest sailor” has revealed plans for a ground-breaking boat capable of reaching speeds of 75mph on the world’s oceans powered just by wind, the Daily Echo can reveal.
Paul Larsen sailed into the record books in 2012 when he steered his state-of-the-art boat Sailrocket 2 to a speed of 65.45 knots, making it the fastest wind-powered boat in the world.
Now, after a two-year break, Larsen and his team have revealed they are in the early stages of designing and building a boat that would be capable of the same speeds but across oceans rather than still water.
The boat would be a scaled up version of the futuristic Sailrocket 2, which in turn was a modified model of the team’s original boat designed by a team in Southampton and launched in 2008.
Larsen said: “We have a deep fascination to see what is possible with the forces of wind and water. Speed sailing offered us a brilliant unrestricted canvas.
“We learned a lot more than just how to go fast. We know the core concepts that yielded such a huge jump in outright speed are also very efficient, stable and scalable.
“We know how they can be applied to ocean crossing yachts for similar gains.
“The Sailrocket team have been developing our concepts for an offshore sailing boat which utilises the innovation that helped us smash the outright world speed sailing record.”
Larsen revealed that, after setting the outright world speed sailing record in November 2012, he considered leaving speed sailing.
But he was drawn back to the project by the possibility of developing an ocean-going speed sailing boat.
He added: “After finally achieving such a long sought after goal, I wondered if I could muster the energy and motivation to go again.
“I gave myself time to let the answer come naturally. I looked around at what was out there and realised that there is much to be done and we are perfectly placed to take it on.
“Ideas that had been pushed to the side in pursuit of outright speed came flooding back. Ideas became drawings and drawings became working models.
“I sat there with the first scale model of Sailrocket 2 on my living room floor.
“Next to it was the bigger model of our next concept.
“We had lived and breathed every detail of turning that first model into full-scale, 65+ knot reality and it thrilled me to think that we could do the same with the new numbers on the bigger one.”
The project is still in its infancy and Larsen is now on the hunt for funding to make the dream a reality.