January 5, 2009 Australia’s Macquarie Speed Sailing Team is seeking ratification of a new World Sailing Speed Record set on December 19, thereby claiming the title of the world’s fastest sailing boat. Macquarie Innovation was timed over the 500m qualifying course at 48.57 knots and recorded speeds in excess of 51 knots during the 20 second run on December 19, 2008. It is expected that the final ratified speed will be reduced to 48.15 knots due to tidal influences experienced on the course – albeit still the fastest speed ever recorded by a sailing boat. What makes the attempt so significant is the boat’s remarkably efficient use of wind energy – the speeds were recorded in just 17 kt winds, and when the team gets the 20 knot winds it has been waiting for, the outright record of 50.57 kts set by French kite-boarder Alexandre Caizergues in Namibia on October 4, 2008 will almost certainly be bettered.
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