The timekeeper, the international referee

The World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) is the official body responsible for promoting and supervising the setting of world records and speed performances under sail. It validates and certifies all times, on defined courses, from 500 meters to around the world.

Established in 1972 by the International Sailing Federation, which became World Sailing in 2015, the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) is responsible for the impartiality of sailing results on the water.

Its first role was to ratify the pure speed records set on a 500-metre course. Since 2012, this record has been held by Paul Larsen on Vestas Sailrocket 2 at 65.45 knots. 

Since 1988, the World Sailing Speed Record Council has also ratified offshore records set on legendary routes (across the Atlantic, around the world, the Route de l’Or from New York to San Francisco via Cape Horn, etc.), during organised races (the Sydney-Hobart, Route du Rhum, the Transpac, etc.), and over 24-hour periods. 

Close to eighty races and fifty courses of approximately fifty miles – such as around the Isle of Wight – up to the circumference of the Earth are all listed by category: solo or crewed, multihull or monohull.

The international organisation receives and registers requests for record attempts, assigns an official to follow the attempt and to time it, and defines the parameters for a record on a new course. 

“Only human and natural resources can be employed to manoeuvre the vessel during a record attempt.”

1 nautical mile* = 1.852 kilometres = 1.15069 English miles = 2,025.2 yards
1 nautical knot = 1.852 km/h = 1.1507 mph = 0.5144 m/s

*1 mile is equal to 1 arc minute of the earth’s circumference. This unit of measurement is used in marine and aerial applications. Wind speed is expressed in knots on applications or websites dedicated to the practice of sailing

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