The 50 Knot Wager
The Dream of Speed
The dream of being the fastest sailor has dominated every generation that has taken to the water. The record that everyone now wants is to be the fastest sailor of any ‘sailing craft’ over a 500 metre course. This ‘sailing craft’ can be anything from a windsurfing board to the weird and futuristic designs of engineers such as Jon Howes and Lindsey Cunningham.
The current top sailing speed ever recorded is 48.7 knots (55 mph). The target that everyone wants to break is the magical 50 knot barrier. This is the sailing world’s equivalent of the breaking of the sound barrier on land. When it falls, which it will do, the next target of 60 knots is almost certainly unreachable. It is now very close to falling and all the teams taking part are desperate to be there first. Those at this cutting edge of speed sailing occupy a space that requires a very certain mindset. The risks are high, the costs always go up and the rewards are very rare.
The Background to the Wager
Speed Sailing has always been the poor relation of traditional sailing. Projects have been carried out on a shoestring budget and sponsors have been few and far between. Currently when you break the record you will just have the recognition of being the fastest sailor on the planet but you will receive no prize and probably little recognition. The different teams have all competed with little communication and nothing to link any of them together in any way.
The Monofoil team have been building their craft for over a year and expect to finish it later this year. The 50 Knot Wager is our idea for bringing all of the teams together. We have suggested a wager made between all of the main contenders to create a prize pot that will be paid out in 2 stages. The first person to break 50 knots will get one third of the ‘pot’ and the rest will go to the fastest sailor/craft on or before 1st June 2007.
The 50 Knot Wager
Around £5,000 per craft (for boats) or person (for windsurfers). The final amount to be agreed between the initial participants.
1/3 of the money to the first person/craft that breaks 50 knots over 500m on a run that is verified to WSSRC rules on or before 1st June 2007.
2/3 of the prize money to the fastest person/craft over 500m on or before 1st June 2007 on a run that is verified to WSSRC rules.
A start date for the wager must be agreed, at least a month after the initial participants sign up.
You have not signed up until you have paid up the Sum!
The course is 500m
Any run that is to be used must be verified by the WSSRC
Anyone joining the wager after a certain date may only be allowed to do so if all of the initial participants agree. They may also be required to pay a higher fee for the privilege.
The money will be held by someone independent such as AYRS (they have indicated they would be willing to do so and would put the money into an escrow account requiring 2 signatures to access). It could also be WSSRC although I have not approached them.
If no one breaks 50 knots then the money can either be returned or rolled over into a new wager.