Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), the biggest wind turbine maker, said the Sailrocket 2 boat it sponsors set two sailing records, becoming the fastest wind-powered vessel.
Sailrocket 2 set the best average speed recorded over a 500-meter (1,640-feet) stretch of water, posting a mark of 59.23 knots (109 kilometers an hour) that eclipsed the previous best of 55.65 knots set in 2010 by American kite surfer Rob Douglas, Vestas said today in a statement on its website.
“The boat was really flying across the water today,” project leader Paul Larsen said in the statement. “Everything came together perfectly and it’s amazing to have finally broken the world record.”
Vestas Sailrocket 2 was designed and built at the Danish company’s technology facility in the Isle of Wight. On the same run in Namibia’s Walvis Bay, the craft also broke the nautical mile record with an average of more than 55 knots, the company said. Both records are subject to ratification by the World Speed Sailing Record Council.
Vestas didn’t disclose the value of its sponsorship. The company is struggling to return to profitability after posting a loss in 2011 for the first time since 2005. The turbine maker is almost halfway through a 2-year program that will see it reduce headcount by about 30 percent through job cuts, failing to fill vacancies and selling factories.
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