PDRacer Speed Over Distance Record by Rowing & Sailing

9-2-07 record: 1.89 mph over 8.27 miles

I had made a 4 sided sprit sail for the 2006 world championship, but didn't use it because of high winds (which died while I was out there sailing). Had never tested it out, so decided to give it a try in the light winds that are typically here in the desert. I made a couple of more modifications to it like adding a sleeve luff to quickly put it on my mast.

This is what it looks like setup. Is about 84 sqft. The upper sprit is the tiller extension from my class II cardboard boat.

Bright and early down at the lake, was there by 6am so I could hopefully spend all day and get some sort of record.

Here is my other new secret weapon for this trip, a short 6' oar with 90 square inch blade. Not very elegant looking, but I made it completely from orbital debris floating around my workshop. The concept is to have a single short oar that I can whip out and do light rowing with. I only pull at a rate that won't wear out my arm. And since I only do it on one side, the other arm is resting while holding the tiller. Works really well.

The wind was blowing lengthwise down the lake so in one direction it was a run, and the other was a slogging beat right into the eye of the wind.

The sail didn't work as good as I hoped. Going upwind, the top would twist around so it didn't help at all. On a reach or run, I could feel the extra sail area helping, but after the wind go above 10 mph, the sail started overpowering the hull and would suddenly twist me around. Think I am going to go back to using the 3 sided sprit with the spinnaker.

Then I ripped the top of the sleeve open, and the sail started coming down the mast. I limped back in and called it a day. Think next thing I am going to do is add a heavy nylon sleeve to the top, and also re-cut it back into a regular 3 sided sprit sail.

Leg Completed Where Time Minutes Per Leg Distance Speed Comment
0 Launch from TTL marina 6:23 0 0 0.00
1 East Dam 7:03 40 0.85 1.28
2 Mill Bridge 7:34 31 1.38 2.67
3 East Dam 8:35 61 1.38 1.36
4 Mill Bridge 9:07 32 1.38 2.59
5 East Dam 10:06 59 1.38 1.40
6 Mill Bridge 10:35 29 1.38 2.86 avg wind up to 15
7 Marina 11:03 28 0.52 1.11 ripped top of sail
Totals 280 8.27 1.89 average speed for trip