1.87 knots. That’s all. 3 digits stand between the Australian SailGP Team and the official F50 speed record. But if you ask Tom Slingsby, they’ve done it. The Australians saw electrifying speeds on San Francisco Bay. And on one bear away, through a gust, and the boat took off faster than ever before. The Australians claim they’ve done it, but the SailGP Technical Team disagrees.
The discrepancy between the athletes and the organizing authority lies in the GPS system documenting the speeds. The F50 comes equipped with a fiber optic gyroscope that documents every move using 1200 data points onboard the F50 double check number of data points and accounts for environmental factors. Unfortunately for the Australians, their gyroscope recorded a max speed of 48.13. However, a handheld Velocitek GPS recorded 52.2 knots.
The Australians are calling ‘Fake News,’ but if they genuinely did it once, they will do it again. Armed with a new flight control system, on one of the best sailing venues in the world - if the record is to be broken, San Francisco will be the one to witness it.