Speed sailing records are sanctioned, since 1972, by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC). Records are measured either by average speed over a specified distance or by total distance traveled during a specified time interval. The three most sought after records are the:
|Date||Craft||Skipper||Location||Speed (knots)||Speed (km/h)||Speed (mph)||Comment|
|24 November 2012||Vestas Sailrocket 2||Paul Larsen AUS||Walvis Bay, NAM||65.45||121.1||75.2||First record above 60 knots|
|18 November 2012||Vestas Sailrocket 2||Paul Larsen AUS||Walvis Bay, NAM||59.23||109.69||68.1|
|28 October 2010||Kitesurf||Robert Douglas USA||Lüderitz, NAM||55.65||103.06||64.0|
|28 October 2010||Kitesurf||Sebastien Cattelan FRA||Lüderitz, NAM||55.49||102.76||63.8||14 minutes before Robert Douglas' record. Homologated by the WSSRC.|
|12 October 2010||Kitesurf||Alexandre Caizergues FRA||Lüderitz, NAM||54.10||100.19||62.3||First record above 100 km/h|
|4 September 2009||l'Hydroptère - hydrofoil trimaran||Alain Thébault FRA||Hyères FRA||51.36||95.11||59.1||Nautical mile record broken on the same run. An instantaneous maximum speed of 55 knots was recorded.|
|2008||Kitesurf||Alexandre Caizergues FRA||Lüderitz, NAM||50.57||93.65||58.2|
|2008||Kitesurf||Sebastien Cattelan FRA||Lüderitz, NAM||50.26||93.08||57.8||First record above 50 knots|
|2008||Kitesurf||Robert Douglas USA||Lüderitz, NAM||49.84||92.30||57.4|
|2008||Windsurf||Antoine Albeau FRA||Stes.Maries, FRA||49.09||90.91||56.5|
|2005||Windsurf||Finian Maynard IRL||Stes.Maries, FRA||48.70||90.19||56.0|
|2004||Windsurf||Finian Maynard IRL||Stes.Maries, FRA||46.82||86.71||53.9|
|1993||Yellow Pages Endeavour - proa||Simon McKeon AUS||Sandy Point, AUS||46.52||86.15||53.5|
|1991||Windsurf||Thierry Bielak FRA||Stes.Maries, FRA||44.66||82.71||51.4|
|1990||Windsurf||Pascal Maka FRA||Stes.Maries, FRA||43.06||79.74||49.5|
|1988||Windsurf||Erik Beale GBR||Stes.Maries, FRA||40.48||74.96||46.6||First record above 40 knots|
|1986||Windsurf||Pascal Maka FRA||Sotavento, SP||38.86||71.96||44.7|
|1980||Crossbow II catamaran||Tim Colman GBR||Portland, UK||36.00||66.67||41.4|
|1977||Crossbow II catamaran||Tim Colman GBR||Portland, UK||34.40||63.70||39.6|
|1977||Crossbow II catamaran||Tim Colman GBR||Portland, UK||33.80||62.59||38.9|
|1975||Crossbow II catamaran||Tim Colman GBR||Portland, UK||31.80||58.89||36.6|
|1975||Crossbow proa||Tim Colman GBR||Portland, UK||31.10||57.59||35.8||First record above 30 knots|
|1973||Crossbow proa||Tim Colman GBR||Portland, UK||29.30||54.26||33.7|
|1972||Crossbow (proa)||Tim Colman GBR||Portland, UK||26.30||48.70||30.3||First record above 30 mph|
Last updated: 19 November 2012.
|Category||Date||Craft||Skipper||Location||Speed (knots)||Speed (km/h)|
|D Class (Over 300 ft²)||4 September 2009||l'Hydroptère||Alain Thébault FRA||Hyères FRA||51.36||95.11|
|C Class (Up to 300 ft² (27.88 m²))||2009||Macquarie Innovation||Simon McKeon AUS||Sandy Point, AUS||50.07||92.72|
|B Class (Up to 235 ft² (21.84 m²))||2012||Vestas Sailrocket 2||Paul Larsen AUS||Walvis Bay, NAM||65.45||121.1|
|A Class (Up to 150 ft² (13.93 m²))||1992||Longshot||Russel Long USA||Tarifa, SP||43.55||80.65|
|10 m² (Up to 10 m²)||2015||Windsurfer||Antoine Albeau FRA||Lüderitz, NAM||53.27||98.66|
|Kite Sailing||2013||Kitesurfer||Alex Caizergues FRA||Salin-de-Giraud, FRA||56.62||104.86|
|Date||Craft||Skipper||Location||Speed (knots)||Speed (km/h)|
|18 November 2012||Vestas Sailrocket 2||Paul Larsen AUS||Walvis Bay, NAM||55.32||102.45|
|8 November 2009||l'Hydroptère||Alain Thébault FRA||Hyères FRA||50.17||92.91||.|
|4 September 2009||l'Hydroptère||Alain Thébault FRA||Hyères FRA||48.72||90.23||500 metre record broken on the same run.|
|Oct 2008||l'Hydroptère||Alain Thébault FRA||Port Saint-Louis FRA||43.09||79.80|
|April 2007||l'Hydroptère||Alain Thébault FRA||Baie de Quiberon FRA||41.69||77.21|
|October 2006||Windsurfer||Bjorn Dunkerbeck ND||Walvis bay, Namibia||41.14||76.19|
|October 2005||Windsurfer||Finian Maynard IRL||Walvis bay, Namibia||39.97||74.02|
|November 2004||Windsurfer||Bjorn Dunkerbeck ND||Port Saint-Louis FRA||34.44||63.78|
|July 2003||Windsurfer||Bjorn Dunkerbeck ND||Aringa, Grand Canaria||33.96||62.89|
A Day's run is the distance traveled by a vessel in one day, normally measured from noon to noon. This was the traditional measure used in the days of packet and clipper ships and varied in the actual time dependent on whether the vessel was sailing east or west. The records certified by the WSSRC since 1994 are based on a 24-hour distance measure irrespective of longitude.
|436 nmi (807 km; 502 mi)||Lightning||James Nolan "Bully" Forbes||1 March 1854||18.16 knots (33.63 km/h; 20.90 mph)|
|465 nmi (861 km; 535 mi)||Champion of the Seas||Alexander Newlands||11 December 1854||19.375 knots (35.883 km/h; 22.296 mph)|
|512 nmi (948 km; 589 mi)||Formule Tag||Michael Birch||1984||21.33 knots (39.50 km/h; 24.55 mph)|
|517 nmi (957 km; 595 mi)||Fleury Michon VIII||Philippe Poupon||1987||21.54 knots (39.89 km/h; 24.79 mph)|
|522.73 nmi (968.10 km; 601.55 mi)||Jet Services V||Serge Madec||1990||21.85 knots (40.47 km/h; 25.14 mph)|
|524.63 nmi (971.61 km; 603.73 mi)||Lyonnaise des eaux||Olivier de Kersauson||1994||21.91 knots (40.58 km/h; 25.21 mph)|
|540 nmi (1,000 km; 620 mi)||Primagaz||Laurent Bourgnon (singlehanded)||1||1994||22.50 knots (41.67 km/h; 25.89 mph)|
|547.3 nmi (1,013.6 km; 629.8 mi)||Explorer||Bruno Peyron||1994||22.80 knots (42.23 km/h; 26.24 mph)|
|590.23 nmi (1,093.11 km; 679.22 mi)||PlayStation||Steve Fossett||1999||24.59 knots (45.54 km/h; 28.30 mph)|
|625.7 nmi (1,158.8 km; 720.0 mi)||Club Med||Bruno Peyron & Grant Dalton||14||11 November 2000||26.07 knots (48.28 km/h; 30.00 mph)|
|629.5 nmi (1,165.8 km; 724.4 mi)||Innovation Explorer||Loick Peyron||13||2001||The Race||26.23 knots (48.58 km/h; 30.18 mph)|
|655.2 nmi (1,213.4 km; 754.0 mi)||Club Med||Grant Dalton||2001||27.30 knots (50.56 km/h; 31.42 mph)|
|687.17 nmi (1,272.64 km; 790.78 mi)||PlayStation||Steve Fossett||2001||28.63 knots (53.02 km/h; 32.95 mph)|
|694.78 nmi (1,286.73 km; 799.54 mi)||Maiden II||Adrienne Cahalan, Helena Darvelid & Brian Thompson||2002||28.95 knots (53.62 km/h; 33.32 mph)|
|706.2 nmi (1,307.9 km; 812.7 mi)||Orange II||Bruno Peyron||2004||29.43 knots (54.50 km/h; 33.87 mph)|
|766.8 nmi (1,420.1 km; 882.4 mi)||Orange II||Bruno Peyron||3 July 2006||31.95 knots (59.17 km/h; 36.77 mph)|
|794 nmi (1,470 km; 914 mi)||Groupama 3||Franck Cammas||10||20 July 2007||33.08 knots (61.26 km/h; 38.07 mph)|
|907.9 nmi (1,681.4 km; 1,044.8 mi)||Banque Populaire V||Pascal Bidégorry||11||August 2009||37.83 knots (70.06 km/h; 43.53 mph)|
Note that the nineteenth century records are not strictly compatible as they measure a "Day's run" which was measured noon to noon regardless of longitude. The two entries above were both eastbound and therefore less than 24 hours.
During her Jules-Verne trophy record in 2011-2012, the Banque Populaire V skippered by Loïck Peyron covered 811.70 nautical miles in 24 hours on 3 December 2011 at 11:45 UT, posting 28 days over 600 miles, including 9 days over 700 miles and 1 day over 800 miles.
During her Jules-Verne trophy record in 2009-2010, the trimaran Groupama 3 skippered by Franck Cammas covered 798 nautical miles in 24 hours on 13 February 2010 at 5 p.m. UT, showing 17 days over 600 miles, including 10 days over 700 miles.
During her Jules-Verne trophy record in 2016-2017, the trimaran Idec sport in the hands of Francis Joyon covered 894 nautical miles in 24 hours, and 10 consecutive days at 809 miles / 24 h. Francis Joyon rounds Cape Horn, 16 days after riding off of South America, and after a course of nearly 12,000 miles above an average of 30 knots (730.16 miles / 24 h over 16 days). He then signs a performance increase of between 30 and 40% compared to the record to be broken by Loïck Peyron 5 years earlier. Leaving the southern seas with a lead of 4 j 06 h 35 min over Loïck Peyron's previous record, Francis Joyon and his crew regained the equivalent of 2,800 miles on the record during this episode.
During the aborted attempt of 2019, Yann Guichard sets a new record crossing the equator in 4 days 19 h 57 min and, thanks to favorable weather conditions, lines up 4,812.1 miles from the 11th to 16th day, or 802 miles / day for 6 consecutive days.
24 hour distance record for Armel Le Cléac'h on Banque Populaire VII: 682,85 miles in 24 hours singlehanded on 2014 January 26th (28,45 knots).
During his record around the world Singlehanded in 2017, 24 hour distance record for François Gabart on Macif: 850,68 miles in 24h.
During his attempt for the Jules Verne Trophy, December 5th of 2020, Thomas Coville on Sodebo Ultim 3 covered 889.9 miles in 24 hours (37.1 knots average).
The idea of an instantaneous speed record is not officially sanctioned by the WSSRC and is, therefore, not officially measured or documented. The highest speed ever reported is from the crew of Vestas Sailrocket 2 : on 24 November 2012 they recorded a top speed of 68.33 knots in a 25–29-knot wind. 
Previously, the highest speed ever reported was from the crew of l'Hydroptère. During an attempt on 21 December 2008 at Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône, they recorded a top speed of approximately 61 knots (speed not verified or registered on any onboard instrumentation) during a 45 knot gust of wind. This heavy gust of wind overpowered the sailboat, causing it to capsize at high speed. The crew sustained only minor injuries.
"Sovereign of the Seas", 1852, 258 ft, the fastest and longest ship yet built when she was launched in New York, designed and built by Donald Mackay, America's foremost clipper designer. On her maiden voyage, she sailed New York to San Francisco in 103 days. This ship achieved the fastest ever recorded speed of a sailing vessel (22 knots)..