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New boat sets sights on shattering sailing speed record in 2022

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Prototype of the Moonshot I (Syroco via SWNS)

By Dean Murray via SWNS

This eye-catching watercraft aims to smash the sailing speed record in 2022.

French startup Syroco carried out the first stable flight of the prototype of the Moonshot I in December.

They now aim to "shatter” the speed record later this year by powering the vessel to 93mph (150km/h).

Rendering of the Moonshot 1 (Syroco via SWNS)

This would comfortably beat the current record held by Paul Larsen, who sailed the Vestas Sailrocket 2 at 63.7mph (102.5km/h) in Walvis Bay, Namibia, on 18 November 2012.

The Moonshot I combines a foil, a kite and a pod able to carry two people. The pod glides a few feet above the water’s surface, while the foil keeps it stable and the kite creates wind propulsion.

Describing last month’s prototype flight, a spokesperson explained: “For this campaign, the test platform consisted of a fast boat rigged with a five-meter-high mast system that could provide a traction angle equivalent to the one of the kite.

“The prototype was strung to this rigging that essentially simulated the kite, and as the chase boat picked up speed, the prototype gently lifted over water.

“The foil came into action, providing the opposing force as defined in the aile d’eau [water wing] concept. And it started flying.

“This was a very important step in the validation process. The team knew it would fly, it worked in computer simulations. Now it works in real life.

“Next step: replace the simulated kite with the actual kite and its control systems.”

Model of the Moonshot I (Syroco via SWNS)

The company will now use data from the prototype to build and test the craft. They have scheduled a world record attempt for later this year.

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