Athletics and Recreation

Ride Like the Wind | Sailing race sees yachts literally flying at over 100km/hr | Sunday Night

Ride Like the Wind | Sailing race sees yachts literally flying at over 100km/hr | Sunday Night


(BIRDS SQUAWK) ANGELA COX:
Whether I want to or not, I’m about to go where no woman
has gone before. (DRAMATIC MUSIC) Whoa! On the fastest racing yacht
ever built. They’re called F50s. MAN: How about that?! (OVERLAPPING VOICES) Forget everything
you’ve thought about sailing. These boats fly, and we’re about to hit the
equivalent of light speed. Right now,
we are flying over the water, clocking almost 100km/h,
and it’s epic! TOM SLINGSBY: This racing is…
It’s extreme. If we push too hard,
we break the boat. If we don’t push hard enough,
we’re not gonna win. (MEN SHOUT INDISTINCTLY) There’s a lot of G-Forces. When you hit the water
at those speeds, it’s like cement. NATHAN OUTTERIDGE: Every time
you plunge the hull into the water, it’s like getting a fire hose
in your face while you’re trying to ride
a motorbike. So, is it crazy fun, or crazy scary? I think it’s crazy fun. How I came to be
in this crazy place, and about to accidentally
make history, is thanks to some very good luck, mixed with some very bad. Holy… Holy… Holy hell! But let’s begin in
far calmer waters,… ..back in Sydney,
with a story of two mates. The first – Australia’s skipper,
Tom Slingsby. Tom is a familiar face. PA: Gold medallist,
representing Australia, Tom Slingsby!
(CHEERING) He won Australia’s first gold medal
at the London Olympics. I think I broke the drought
for Australia, and the floodgates opened, and we started getting more medals. But that much attention on myself,
and on sailing, was a bit of a shock to the system. Days after Tom’s win, Nathan Outteridge
also collected Olympic gold. Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen! (CHEERING) The pair met as six-year-olds at junior sailing meets and have been locked in
a game of one-upmanship ever since. It is really cool. You know, everyone talks about the rivalry between myself and Tom Slingsby,
and… We’ve known each other
for about 25 years, and we’ve done a lot of sailing
against each other, and every now and then we get on
the same boat and sail together, which is really cool, but… ..most of our sailing,
at least for the last ten years, has been in direct competition. So, do you prefer sailing
with him or against him? I enjoy sailing against him, ’cause I think, if you wanna be
the best in the world, you’ve gotta sail against
the best in the world. And, you know, I rate Tom
as one of the best in the world. I’d call it a very fun, healthy
rivalry between the two of us. COMMENTATOR: They are going for it. At war on the water, but, on dry land,
they became best of mates. Found a supporter of yours. Oh! Hey, buddy! Tom even acting as a groomsman
at Nathan’s wedding. Nathan, I know that we’ve had a lot
of good times over the years, but today you’ve set a new peak
that you’ll never beat. To Nath and Emma. But don’t get too warm and fuzzy. When it comes to racing,
the gloves come off. When you’re working out,
and you’re sparring, and you’re hitting those bags, is Nathan’s face there? (CHUCKLES) We do have a serious rivalry
on the water. It’s healthy,
and it’s the way it should be. And that healthy rivalry
has now gone to a whole new level on these magnificent
flying machines. These mates are in a cage fight on water to be number-one in a new international
racing circuit that’s faster and more extreme
than you’ve ever seen. It’s not like your keelboat,
where you can sit there and have a gin and tonic.
You’ve got body armour, you’ve got life jackets,
you’ve got oxygen tanks, you have knives on you, you have safety harnesses
so you’re clipped on. Twin-hulled yachts like this
were originally developed for the America’s Cup. They’re powered by giant,
wing-like sails. Underneath are foils that lift
everything out of the water and into thin air. It’s essentially like
an aeroplane wing. Once we build enough speed, the boat comes out of the water, like an aeroplane takes off. What’s the fastest you’ve clocked
on one of these boats? The goal for us
has always been 50 knots, and we’ve done 49.8
and anything under that – every speed under 49.8. And unfortunately we haven’t cracked
that 50 knots in this boat yet. That’s the golden target, is it? Yeah. (CHUCKLES) But speed also equals danger. In 2013, British crewman
Andrew “Bart” Simpson drowned when an early version
of the yacht capsized during an America’s Cup
training session. Nathan was driving the boat. The boat went through
this manoeuvre, and it started to break. And unfortunately for Bart, like, he just ended up getting
thrown in the wrong position and got squashed in there
and ended up drowning. So it was… I don’t like thinking about it, you know, going back,
but, when I do, I… I remember, you know,
having multiple chats with Tom about, you know,
“Is it really worth it?” Like,… ..”Do we really wanna sail
this much, you know, to risk that?” And he said, “We should leave
this sport. It’s too dangerous. And, “Let’s just get out now,
while we’re still alive and safe.” And then time went on, and we,
sort of, spoke about it more, and we realised that the reason
we love this sport is ’cause it’s like this. And if something does go wrong, it goes wrong, and we…
That’s the job we sign up for. (CHUCKLES) He’s, like,
“What the hell is going on?” But for Nathan Outteridge, there’s now something else
to consider. He’s just become a new dad. You like cameras, don’t you? He’s obsessed with cameras. Has it changed how you feel about taking those steps out
in that boat? When you have a little one
that’s depending on you and wants to have a dad
for a long time, you… ..you attack situations differently. The latest stop for the fleet
of F50 yachts is the UK port of Cowes,
on the Isle of Wight. It’s the second-last race
of the series, and on centre stage, again, is the rivalry
between the two Aussie skippers. The Australians, led by Tom,
are in second place, behind Team Japan,
skippered by Nathan. I know that Tom wants
to turn it around, but I feel like they’re sailing
very close to their potential, whereas I still think we have room
for improvement. Fighting words for Tom. They are fighting words. (CHUCKLES) I’m gonna try to prove
that I’m better than he is, and he’ll try to prove
he’s better than I am. That’s what makes it exciting. (BIRDS SQUAWK) On the Isle of Wight, off the coast of England,… ..a meeting of the very old
and the new. The historic seaside town of Cowes is host to the world’s
most futuristic of fast boats. They’re here for
the second-last race of the SailGP World Series. On top of the ladder are
two Aussie arch-rivals – Nathan Outteridge,
who races for Japan, and Tom Slingsby,
leading the Australian team. But it’s clear, as training begins, the Aussies are setting the pace. They break the elusive
50-knot speed barrier. Remember, that’s 100km/h. But… (DRAMATIC MUSIC) (BEEPING)
..they also break their boat, ripping the all-important wing at the worst possible time. How hard is it gonna be
to fix it in time? Are you guys gonna be working
through the night to get it done? Yeah, our shore team will be working
through the night, for sure. I was going sailing with Tom, but now it’s not even certain he’ll have the boat ready to race. So Tom’s nemesis, Nathan, has jumped into the void and offered me a ride
on the Japanese boat. But safety first – I need a wardrobe change. I should show you this. I’ve got my air; thing to cut through the netting; big knife… CAMERAMAN: Whoa. I’m like Bear Grylls of the water,
man. (ROCK MUSIC) With Nathan at the helm and a strong breeze behind us, we’re underway. Right now,
we’re going about 25 knots – feeling pretty smooth. But the boys are about to do
another manoeuvre, and then it gets a little crazy. Whoa! (FOILS WHISTLE) You can hear that whistling. That whistling is being up
on the foils. It’s quite a cool experience.
Holy… Holy… Holy hell! That was pretty close. Scary for me, but for these pros, it’s all in a day’s practice. NATHAN OUTTERIDGE:
I get a lot of enjoyment out of it, but I’m never at the moment
where I feel like, “This is terrifying.” ‘Cause if you think it’s terrifying, that’s when you are gonna crash. That’s when you are
in the most danger? It’s when you make the mistakes,
too, yeah. After working around the clock, the Australian team
has fixed its broken wing. And with no time to spare,
it’s ready to race. But the moment Tom learns I’ve been
for a sail with his arch-rival, his competitive spirit kicks in. He invites me on to the
Australian yacht for a quick spin on the way out to the start line. So, your speed is the top right – 39, 38… That’s 39 knots? Yeah. And when I say “quick”, it’s blinding. (BOAT CREAKS) Tom wants to break
the 50-knot barrier again, with me on board, and has one eye on the ocean and the other on his speedo. 50!
Oh, he did it! OK, rolling up again here slowly. We just clocked 50 knots. That’s about 100km/h. Oh! There you go.
That was fun! (LAUGHS) We’ve got one more ride to go.
We did 50, though, right? Did 50, yeah.
Ah! One milestone conquered. MALE COMMENTATOR: Racing.
I can’t believe they are. Australia nail the start
in the middle. Next, it’s the serious business
of racing,… Have a go at the speed – 43 knots,
these guys are doing. ..and the Australians
are in front early. FEMALE COMMENTATOR:
The Aussies just extending here. These howling winds
are like a wrecking ball on the highly tuned yachts. The sea state here, it is so big. Oh, the USA are in! It’s the most extreme conditions
they’ve ever raced in. Man and machine are being pushed
to the limit and beyond. Looks like they’re gone. No, the
tip of the wing is in the water. Japan’s hopes of holding off
Australia are dashed when a grinder is literally ripped
out of the deck of the boat. Oh, we’ve got a broken pedestal
here on Japan. No crossing. NATHAN:
What issues haven’t we been having? The Americans capsized,
and the Chinese almost went as well, and we watched the Aussies
just sail off into the distance. Then we gybed,
and then we broke the boat, and so then it was just a battle
for the whole day for us. With his arch-rival crippled, Tom and the Aussies soar to victory
and into the competition lead. Team Australia, there it is – three from three. Awesome job. TOM: We knew there was big crashes
going on, capsizes, but we just had to concentrate
on ourselves and make sure we did the job. We hit 50 knots.
I’m telling everyone I’m probably the only woman
in the world who’s ever done that. Do you reckon that’s right?
I’d say that’s probably right, yeah. PA: Tom Slingsby! With just one more stop
on the world tour left to go, Team Australia’s hard-earned win puts them firmly in the lead. Ladies and gentlemen,
the Cowes SailGP winners! For Tom, the victory tastes sweet. For Nathan, the result
is a little harder to swallow. Hey, well done, mate. Cheers, mate. Thank you. Good job. Cheers.
Cheers. But with a beer and a laugh, these rivals prove once again their friendship means more
than any win. Which is the better sailor? The event’s not over yet. (CHUCKLES) No, the World Series is still going. Look, luck goes either way. Sometimes it’s against us, sometimes it’s against him. But, obviously, today,
Tom is the better sailor. Oh, look, it wasn’t a fair fight
today, but we’ll take it anyway. (CHUCKLES) Well, cheers to that.
If I had a beer, I’d toast you two. But good on you, boys.
Cheers. Thank you. Cheers, Tom.


Reader Comments

  1. My first time sailing we capsized and got trapped under the main sail. That didn't stop me from racing. You either love it or hate it.

  2. I went into a wave pool once and freaked out when the wave was coming. So chicken little me wouldn’t do so great on one of these puppies.

  3. When you hit the water "and it is like cement," it is because the boats are stupidly designed with wave-piercing bows. Are seaplane foils designed as displacement wave-piercing hulls? No, because that would be catastrophic.

  4. Old fart here been riding motorcycles all my life dirt bike racing road racing still long distance touring now most fun I ever had was on the hot rod catamaran love them all

  5. The unspoken story here, is that the two top boats in SailGP are skippered by Australians, and yet we still have no Americas Cup entry of our own

  6. A great advertisement for Australian sportsmanship and mateship. And not a piece of sandpaper to be seen anywhere. Makes me proud to be both a sailor and an Aussie.

  7. Not to ruin the video, but the french have a female crew member. Not sure if they ever hit 50 knots in training? Fun video anyway.

  8. Enter Weymouth Speedweek (only the oldest speed sailing competition on Earth!) if you think you’re big enough……..! Ha! Can you take the Harbour Record of 41.213 kts? Gauntlet thrown down. See you in 2020? Or maybe the huge 50th anniversary in 2022? 🤟🏼🤟🏼👌👍👍

  9. Why is the bow angle backwards?? The thing just dives under water cause the bow angle is backwards. Needs a upward angel so it does not dive. You know what I mean.

  10. 50 knots to mph is 57.539 miles per hour….. long long ago that speed was broken sailing with the first foil boats and wind surfing exceeds that considerably….I think they are up to about 70 mph now

  11. See one change that the last America's Cup brought to these boats was a change to the grinders that provide the power for almost everything.
    Traditionally the grinder have always been hand crank. The New Zealander's changed that to leg powered grinders. Makes sense when you think that the biggest most powerful muscles in the human body are in the legs.

  12. As a family we had a Cal 25 that could go no faster than 8 knots. That was the limit for any conventional sailing hull at the time. Boy, was it ever fun. That was 1972.

  13. The America Cup race is the oldest international race in the world. Foiling has raised this race to ballistic proportions. A rollercoaster ride with no safety bars. Scary even as a spectator sport

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