Well no, as Paul Larson put it this was yet again a case of “close, but no cigar”. Paul is trying for the mile record, held by Hydroptère and yet again missed it by a tantalizingly small amount. In his own words “The start up went great and it was one of the cleanest courses I had ever sailed. I was right along the shore and had great visibility in the flat water. The boat felt easy. I ticked off the first buoy near the timing hut after which I need to bring the course up slightly as the beach isn’t perfectly straight. I noticed the wing was out at 17 degrees probably due to some stretch in the mainsheet system. I sheeted in again but needed both hands which meant going back to the foot steering."
"This feels a bit touchy in the mid-40’s as Vestas SailRocket becomes very sensitive. I got the wing in a bit, but was aware that the boat speed had dropped off at the end. I was back in the 30’s with a brief spurt into the 40’s past the finish buoy. I could only sail a little way into the lagoon as the tide was well on the way out and the sand bars were too shallow. Although we couldn’t tell what the time was then… it turns out that it was a 42.06 knot nautical mile! 1.03 knots off the record… and it was super cruisy. The peak speed was around 46 knots and the best 500 meter was 43.98 knots. The average wind was 21 knots or so. Of course I kick myself now that I didn’t sheet in harder as we had an easy 3 knots right there… but that was the call.”
Good enough for us, especially as we are suckers for sunrise & sunset pix and this one from some unnamed member of the Vestas team is a stunner. More here.