Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD
Product Feature
Typhoon Orkney Tee
Typhoon Orkney Tee

Project Land Speed: Wind powered speed record gets Green light

by Hamish Hooper/ETNZ 23 Sep 08:49 BST 23 September 2022
Glenn Ashby on the edge of a fast drying Lake Gairdner - September 2022 © Emirates Team NZ

Not someone that enjoys idle time, it has been an agonising month of waiting for the moving waters of Lake Gairdner to evaporate for Land speed pilot Glenn Ashby.

Since early August when he reluctantly declared the Landspeed project as ‘temporarily on hold’ Ashby has been busy going over the minutiae of the entire campaign manning the phones and spending hours online to research contingencies on contingencies in the case of extended delays.

But after his most recent visit to the Lake in the past couple of weeks he has seen enough to now mobilise the operations and say “we are on.”

Ashby returned to Auckland this week for final planning and operational meetings, as well as a session to sharpen his high-speed skills (more on that later).

With Horonuku and the containers still parked in Adelaide, the small initial team have their flights booked and will be crossing the ditch early next week to meet them and Ashby and track them up to the base at Lake Gairdner to start the set up.

On Ashby’s latest visit to the Lake, at the end of the now familiar road, he was met with an unfamiliar sight- a largely pristine dry lake.

“We had a report that the lake appeared to be drying out, so I had to come across and see for myself. All down through the front lake area, which was fully covered in water last time, is drying out. Crikey.” said an excited Ashby

“What was 200 millimetres of water two weeks ago and is now basically dry.”

While the water is not entirely gone, it continues to move around the lake with the changing wind directions but all the while evaporating in volume in the increasing springtime heat.

“There is a lot less water which has been blown up to the north just a little bit. You can see the water moving across the salt surface here so it’s incredible to watch. It's probably only 15ml to 20ml deep and moves like a tide coming in. But the good side of all this is there's not much water which is exciting.”

“There's obviously been quite a lot of evaporation. But I think it's just about time to truck Horonuku out here and get set up, ready to go.”

Stay tuned for more updates as we step towards Horonuku’s first speed run on Lake Gairdner in the coming weeks.

Full NALSA regulations for speed record attempts can be read nalsa.org/Sept_News/spdreg.html

Related Articles

Project Land Speed goes on 'temporary hold'
Glenn Ashby gives an update from Lake Gairdner as Project Land Speed goes on "temporary hold" A lot of the lake is now dry, but not all of it. What does it mean for Project Speed? Glenn gives an update from Lake Gairdner. Posted on 16 Aug
Project Land Speed: Horonuku arrives in Australia
Horonuku has arrived safely in Australia, clearing customs this week in Adelaide Horonuku has arrived safely in Australia, clearing customs this week in Adelaide after its journey via sea from Auckland over the past month or so. Posted on 5 Aug
Project Land Speed: Pod power explained
ETNZ's Tim Meldrum explains how the pod is used on Horonuku to optimise righting moment Emirates Team New Zealand's Tim Meldrum explains how the pod is used on Horonuku to optimise weight carried depending on the windspeed. Posted on 30 Jul
Project Speed: Waiting is best, patience is a must
Constant evaluation and adjustments of plans are essential to the success of the overall objective With a project as highly contingent on weather and conditions as the Emirates Team New Zealand wind powered Land Speed World Record attempt, constant evaluation and adjustments of plans are essential to the success of the overall objective. Posted on 15 Jul
Project Speed: Waiting for the lake to dry
Venue for wind powered land speed record attempt still underwater - dates pushed back It would come as no surprise that a lake would normally have water in it. But what is surprising is that Lake Gairdner, the usually bone dry salt lake in South Australia, currently has a somewhat inconvenient amount of water in it. Posted on 10 Jul
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ on the move
America's Cup champions to shift to new base in September on extended lease Emirates Team New Zealand confirmed today that the team has signed a lease of the former INEOS Britannia team base on Wynyard Point from Auckland Council and intends to have moved in by the end of September this year. Posted on 6 Jul
Project Speed: Certifying the record checklist
World records are not broken every day, nor are they ever easy to achieve, but they must be For Ashby, as the pilot at record breaking speeds that will need to exceed 202.9km/h, his control is not much more than a two finger operation on a lever, some foot pedal pumps and some small steering adjustments.. Posted on 2 Jul
ETNZ Project Speed: Ashby's Update -Testing ends
New Zealand-based testing program of Horonuku at Whenuapai Air Base - Phase 2 is complete! New Zealand-based testing program of Horonuku at Whenuapai Air Base - Phase 2 is complete! With the wonderful assistance of the RNZAF we have been able to sign off on the many pre-designed configurations and tuning of the main components of the yacht. Posted on 31 May
ETNZ Project Speed: Glenn's Diary Week 2 - Cut!
We are going to shorten the craft up and change the distance between the rear wheels and the centre Emirates Team NZ and the Project Speed team have been making the most of their testing at the Whenuapai base this past week in a range of weather which Glenn Ashby and the team have utilised to continue their sharp learning curve on ‘Horonuku' Posted on 27 May
ETNZ Project Speed: Glenn's Diary Week 1 - 75kts
Out of the box Horonuku has worked extremely well hitting speeds in excess of 140kph Emirates Team New Zealand's Glenn Ashby reports on the first week of testing in Horonuku, the team's 14metre long land yacht, to be piloted by Ashby, in an attempt to break the world speed record set in 2009 of 220kph/120kts for a wind powered craft. Posted on 24 May