Emirates Team New Zealand has revealed that it is to attempt to break the Wind Powered Land Speed World Record in July/August of 2022.
A craft is already under construction at the Emirates Team New Zealand build facility on Auckland’s North Shore, with completion scheduled for late March. Assembly and commissioning and preliminary testing in Auckland, then the craft and equipment will be shipped to South Western Australia.
From July a small team will be based at the record attempt location for testing and then ultimately a shot at the World Record speed run when the right conditions are presented
The aim is to break the existing Wind Powered Land Speed World Record of 202.9km/h (126.1m/h) which was set in 2009 by Richard Jenkins in Greenbird.
“Obviously the objective is to design a craft that becomes the fastest wind powered land yacht ever.” said Glenn Ashby “And no one would have ever been that fast in a wind powered craft on or off the water. So that’s a pretty bloody exciting thing to try to become.”
Emirates Team New Zealand has always commissioned external contracts to keep the design team sharp and engaged during these periods.
So, when the independently funded project to attempt to beat the Wind Powered Land Speed World Record emerged it was not hard to find willing designers, engineers and shore crew to put their talents to the test from being fastest on the water of the America’s Cup to being fastest on land ever.
The speed record attempt has been a common point of discussion for a number of years between Glenn Ashby and ETNZ CEO Grant Dalton, who himself has had a long-held interest in such a record shot.
Dalton sees the powered land speed record as bringing a design challenge into ETNZ that would be beneficial on a number of fronts to keep the technicians and the innovators of the organisation engaged during a down time.
First job was a two-week in-depth feasibility study to ensure enough of a global understanding that this was something that could be done in a positive way for ETNZ and would not impact the team and its America’s Cup objectives financially or resource wise.
Since then, the core group of have been working through the new design and engineering challenges entirely focused towards beating the existing World Record.
Without a silver bullet in terms of a revolutionary design, and very much like what is predicted in the 37th America’s Cup with the next generation of AC75’s, the gains will come down to the small improvements and refinements that add up to overall advancements and success.
Emirates Team New Zealand Principal Matteo de Nora, who is a significant supporter of the world record attempt, is clear on why now is the right time for the challenge.
“We are seeing some very close collaborations now where the design is crossing into Formula 1 territory with Ineos Britannia and Mercedes and Alinghi and Red Bull Racing for a start”
“This isn’t a coincidence and is focused on the top line speeds and lessons that can be learnt the faster you can go”
“So, this project will be beneficial in continuing to evolve and learn so much more in the aerodynamic realm which was a significant factor in AC36.” said de Nora.
The attempts at the World Record is expected to be in July / early August on one of Australia’s vast salt lakes with Lake Gairdner in South Australia or Lake Lefroy in Western Australia as potential locations.