Vestas Sailrocket: Arrival : The new foil is in Walvis Bay.

Monday, 08 October 2012


Plan 'G' went off without a hitch and the new foil is being prepared next to me for its first skim of fairing compound.

Some of you may be wondering why we made such a fuss about simply bringing a foil down on a plane. In the end there was little drama. The other option could have been a lot worse and for a while there it looked like we were stuck. South Africa is in a bit of a mess cargo wise now. There is some sort of transport workers strike on and its getting nasty. Whilst I'm not too aware at the details, all I know is that everyone who has stuff coming to Namibia that requires road transportation from South Africa is waiting indefinitely. One chap I spoke to yesterday who runs a large printing company in Windhoek says that the freight company they use had their whole truck and cargo literally burnt as it tried to leave Jo'burg airport. There are only two airlines who fly to Namibia from Jo'burg and they fly smaller regional jets. If it was refused as they said it would be then we were in trouble. No other airlines would accept it at Check-in in London. That's why I'm pretty happy about Virgin Atlantic, Gary... having the foil here and not stuck in some hellish purgatory.

Time is pretty tight now. I have to be back in the UK around the first week of December. This means we have around 7 weeks of sailing. It should be enough provided we don't have any biggy's. I can't guarantee that.

So now we have a long job list to work through to get everything ready for actual sailing. Helena flies down later today and hopefully our new team member will be down here on the weekend. We have been looking for a skilled, professional camera-man/videographer to join the team and I think we have found one who fits the bill. I think it will be a great addition that adds value to the whole project for both us and those of you watching from afar. We hope it will result in better quality footage on a more regular basis.

Now, the new foil... This is the first time I have actually seen it in the flesh. It's bloody small.

All the bits and pieces have arrived which will allow us to mount the new steering system/rudder as well as a bunch of electronics to measure both loads in the new rudder and pressures on the foil. We have a fair bit to do.

I see that Sebastien Cattelan is already doing runs down in the 'ditch' in Luderitz. Yesterday he reported peaks over 55 knots and averages of 52 knots. I'm not that worried about the kiters to be honest. Nothing either of us can do really affects the other. I really hope that we can find the time to go down and watch them in action. It would be a real blast to watch someone else going for the record for a change... especially in the mad environment in which they operate.

Well, we should be ready for our first runs by the end of the week. Yep, it's going to be interesting.

Now... to work!

Cheers, Paul

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Last Updated ( Monday, 08 October 2012 )