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18 October 2005, 11:06 am
Need For Speed Shapes Aussie World Record Bid
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WSSRC Record Attempt
Sandy Point, Victoria, Australia

A Star Wars-like craft and Aussie determination are being combined for a crack at sailing's Outright Speed Record and the elusive 50 knot mark. Victorian sailors Tim DADDO and Simon MCKEON, along with designer Lindsay CUNNINGHAM, will be hoping for favourable conditions at Sandy Point, near Wilsons Promontory, in Victoria, to break the record before their December 16 deadline.
Melbourne based Ronstan is providing the research and development, as well as equipment, to ensure the attempt reaches its fullest potential.

DADDO says it is difficult to describe the look of the hi-tech Macquarie Innovation that will be used in the bid to beat the world record of 48.70 knots achieved by nominee for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award Finian MAYNARD (IVB) back in April.

'Loosely speaking, Macquarie Innovation looks like a camera tripod that has been squashed down and little floats put on the arms with an airplane wing plonked on top,' DADDO said. 'We sit out on a pod to sail it. It's certainly nothing like your standard yacht. The hardest part is getting it up to speed and stopping it.'

Technically speaking, Macquarie Innovation is an asymmetric trimaran that is powered by a solid aerofoil rig measuring about 7.5m high and 3.4m wide. A previous craft used by DADDO and MCKEON, Yellow Pages Endeavour, broke the speed record with 46.52 knots in 1993. That record was the benchmark for more than eleven years. They hope to get the record back from MAYNARD, who set his speed at the man-made 'French Trench' at Saintes Maries de la Mer in France.

Macquarie Innovation's design team is confident the 50 knot mark can be broken after extensive testing using computer simulations at the Australian Maritime College in Launceston, Tasmania. All up, a team of 14 will be on hand at the Sandy Point base for the world record attempt.

'Full scale testing has been performed at Sandy Point with some stunning results with peak speeds recorded in excess of 47 knots. The team believes strongly that it is just a matter of time before the world record is returned to Australian shores and that they will have the very significant honour of being the first sailing craft in the world to surpass 50 knots,' the team says on its website.

Kylie Wilson (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Macquarie Innovation:© Robert Keeley
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