Emirates Team New Zealand and Land speed pilot Glenn Ashby have sailed ‘Horonuku’, their wind powered land speed world record craft, faster than any previous records.
‘Horonuku’ named by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei meaning ‘gliding swiftly across the land’ did exactly that and was clocked at 222.4km/h (138 mph) in 22 knots of windspeed on Lake Gairdner in South Australia.
Pilot Glenn Ashby was clearly happy with the run, but also tempered with the knowledge that Horonuku can go much faster.
“The team and I are obviously buzzing to have sailed Horonuku at a speed faster than anyone has ever before – powered only by the wind. But in saying that we know Horonuku has a lot more speed in it when we get more wind and better conditions.” Said Ashby.
Before the 222.4km/h speed is declared ‘official’ there is a stringent verification process that needs to be conducted in accordance with the international governing body FISLY (Federation Internationale de Sand et Land Yachting) for the new world record speed to become ratified.
There has been an independent FISLY approved judge on the ground at Lake Gairdner to witness and verify the run, the GPS recording from Horonuku and all other mandatory requirements of a record attempt – and must submit all related data to FISLY within 48 hours.
Horonuku is fitted with an approved GPS which records survey grade, differential GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) data which provides 21 data points over the two second record period. Each of those data points supplies a position estimate accurate to around 10mm.
This will deliver an average speed over two seconds the result of which will be directly comparable to that of the standing record of 202.9km/h recorded by Richard Jenkins on March 29th 2009, a record which has stood for over 5000 days.
The high speed runs by Ashby and the team comes after a frustrating few months of weather delays at the Lake due to unprecedented rainfall and surface water leading to delays in the program, and the weather forecast for this weekend was equally as challenging with significant wind direction changes and the dreaded threat of rain and thunderstorms.