What is the record ?

1972
The year that the World Sailing Speed Record is officialised, and its council, the WSSRC, is created to ratify every attempt. A strict set of regulations is standardised to retain the quintessential values of the sport. The first bar is set at 26.3 knots, and the quest for the fastest ever sailboat is underway!
A great number of contenders have taken on the record in its lifetime, but only 12 have managed to improve it. Each of these challengers left their mark on the way we design our boats today. And we count SP80 as a part of their legacy.
12
65.45
The current speed record sits at the top of its throne at 65.45 knots over 500 meters, and was claimed by Paul Larsen’s Vestas Sailrocket II in 2012. We hold a deep respect for this marvelous accomplishment, and fully intend to blow it out of the water by 2022.
At our target speed, a 100 metre stretch of water will zip beneath our pilot’s feet in 2.43 seconds.
2.43

1972

The history

A story of legendary boats and sailors

The record’s existence stems from the pairing of daredevils and innovators. In the beginning, it takes one to ask: “Wonder how fast we can go in this thing?” and the other to reply with a question: “What if we tinkered it a little?”

Eventually humanity’s innate desire to push back against the physical limitations nudges these bold and visionary sailors to take these ideas further. The legends that make up the record’s history were shaped while drifting in these dicey waters.

©KEYSTONE Pictures USA

Crossbow – 26.30 kts

1972 – Portland, United Kingdom

October 1972 on the Isle of Portland; Weymouth’s annual Speed Week has gathered a number of experimental boats, and the contenders are eager to show off their speedy machines. The course against which they are measured is a 500m run, simply because a mile will not fit in the venue. The Crossbow and its 4-man crew come out ahead of the bunch, finishing their run in under 37 seconds, and thereby log the first World Speed Sailing Record, as well as cementing the 500m run as the official benchmark.

1972 2022

A unique visibility in the sailing world

The World Sailing Speed Record is one that garners the most attention in the sport because it doesn’t cater to a single discipline.

What’s more, the record’s scope reaches outside of the confines of the sport; as its status “World Record” suggests, its impact is global.

« Just like with the sound barrier, once you’re through, you’re through, and the equation for doing 100 knots or greater will have been written. »

Paul Larsen, current World Sailing Speed Record holder

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