Going for a record in Nevada

                                                   
Author:
Updated:
Original:

By Kimball Livingston

Richard Jenkins had a good session in early April at Ivanpah Dry Lake, recording 10 runs above 90 mph and peaking at 98.3 in his quest to beat the 116 mph record held since 1999 by Bob Schumacher in Iron Duck.

Richards is now on hiatus until May, when he hopes to find a smoother surface on any of several dry lakes farther north. The heavy rains of 2004-05 have made the surface at Ivanpah, which is always cracked, rougher than usual.

WindjetRunning


How it's done: Low-end speeds are an issue for Windjet, so a truck pushes the craft into its performance range, and then Jenkins accelerates away. Windjet'scomposite structure is mostly carbon fiber, with some Kevlar reinforcing to protect the pilot capsule. Light weight is not necessarily an advantage on land, however. He's going to add lead to help hold the boat down, so that he does not have to use too much aerodynamic downforce from the airfoil sections over the axles.

WindjetPilot


To quote: "Due to the poor traction of the dirt surface, (compared to the tarmac, which the craft is set up for) we are experiencing a lot more sideslip and hence a lot more drag. To counter the side slip, we are having to use a lot more aerodynamic downforce than normal, which in turn causes more drag. The simple solution to this is more weight inserted into the fusalage. This, combined with a couple of other minor alterations, should put us in very good shape for record speeds. Changing from a smooth tarmac surface to the desert, is a bit like trying to drive an F1 car on a rally car track, so there were always are going to be some neccessary changes, but luckily it appears these are all relatively minor."

This is a new wing arrangement for the craft. Jenkins said that he had been using a three-part wing that provided better low-end (starting) performance but expects better high-end performance out of the new two-part wing.You can find more detail at Windjet.

IronDuckNose

Record holder Iron Duck
Ivanpah Dry Lake is the place were Bob Schumacher set the current landsailing speed record of 116.7 mph on March 20, 1999 on the asymmetric, port tack-favored Iron Duck. In fact, I'd say that port tack is more than just "favored" as this centerline picture shows.

Designer Bob Dill holds a second-fastest time in the same machine at 112.3 mph. Winds at the time were 25-30. Dill (2005 president of the North American Land Sailing Association, did not bring out the Iron Duck from his home in Burlington, Vermont to reenact the scene snown below from the record year of 1999. If Jenkins should succeed in 2005, maybe we'll see the Duck again in '06.

IronDuck


There is not a lot of published detail about the engineering of Windjet, but Iron Duck is an open book. Here are some Iron Duck facts:

Length: 39 ft
Wheel base: 30 ft
Weight: 1600 lbs. ("after capsizing the Wood Duck in 1994, adding extra steel was too easy")
Moderate aerodynamic hold-down from the axles.
Tubular metal frame
White ash axles
Plywood, foam and fiberglass fairings
Wing: Hot wire cut foam under 1/8" plywood in the back and fiberglass over the nose.
Field assembly: Duct tape
Wing Height: 23 ft
Cantilevered mast
Wing :71 sq. ft without flap, chain driven from hand wheel.
Tire life: to 2 days.
Steering: double cable, foot operated.
Designer: Bob Dill
Design inspiration and advice on winged landyachts: Clarence Rothtock (Scorpion), Phil Rothrock (all his boats), Chauncey Griggs (Schazaam), Kent Hatch (several boats).
Builders: Bob Dill, Anders Toft, Bob Schumacher, Jerry Manock.
Time invested: About 4000 hours since 1993
Construction Cost: About $6000 for two boats (labor rate =$0.00/hr)
Travel/Transport Cost: About $10,000 since 1994
Sponsor: The Robert Dill Charitable Fund for Overweight Birds (any and all donations gladly accepted)

On that note, Bob, my check is in the mail.

Related

SF3300-Jean-Marie_LIOT

Boat Review: Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300

Though best known for its cruising boats, Jeanneau has long kept a hand in competitive racing with its Sun Fast line. The newest of these French-built speedsters is the Sun Fast 3300, which takes the place of the long-lived 3200. Design & Construction A collaboration between ...read more

03-200123_PM_MIAMI_31326_3065

U.S. Team Strikes Miami Gold

If there was ever a time for the U.S. Sailing Team, which has been experiencing a serious medal drought of late, to start peaking it would be now, with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics set to begin in July. Luckily, it appears the team, which has won only three Olympic medals since 2004, ...read more

shutterstock_1466239997

Charter: the Greek Isles

If there’s one charter destination that’s impossible to tire of, it’s Greece. This Mediterranean jewel is simply so large, so varied and so special it’s impossible to relegate it to just a single checkbox on a list. This past year a group of friends and I chartered from Navigare ...read more

IDECsport_180919_106-2048

IDEC Tri Breaks Tea Route Record

Francis Joyon and his crew aboard the maxi-tri IDEC Sport have set a new record for the “tea route” from Hong Kong to London of just 31 days, 23 hours, 36 minutes. In doing so they bested the previous record set by Italian skipper, Giovanni Soldini aboard the trimaran Maserati ...read more

DawnRileyforSAILmagazine

An Interview with Sailor Dawn Riley

The 2019 sailing documentary Maiden received rave reviews as a human-interest story that featured excellent racing footage and the heartfelt recollections of an all-female team led by then 25-year-old Briton Tracy Edwards. During the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World race, ...read more

IMG_9978

Charter: More for Your Money

Though summer may not be when you typically think of escaping to a tropical island, it could, in fact, be the perfect time for a charter holiday. Despite popular perception, the Caribbean isn’t hot as Hades during summer. In fact, the highs vary by only about 8 degrees F ...read more

Riley-and-Elayna,-Sailing-La-Vagabonde

Sailing in the YouTube Era

At the risk of both dating myself and being accused of gross hyperbole, I will say this: it was a bit like 1964 when the Beatles first landed in New York. What I’m referring to is last fall’s U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis. Playing the role of the Beatles were not one, but two ...read more

Bill-Hatfield-copy-1024x665

Cruising: Solo Circumnavigators

There seems to be no age limit for solo-circumnavigators. Not so long ago we had Californian Jeff Hartjoy set a record for the oldest American to sail around the globe solo, nonstop and unassisted, at the age of 70. A few months ago, 77-year-old Briton Jeanne Socrates became the ...read more