The world's fastest windsurfers and kitesurfers will hunt new speed sailing records from October 22nd through November 25th, in Luderitz, Namibia. The 2018 Luderitz Speed Challenge has returned with high hopes and plenty of well-known faces. The event has been running since 2007.
Bjorn Dunkerbeck, Steve Allen, Chris Bertish, Philippe Bru, Mark Grinnell, Farrel O'Shea, Twan Verseput and Alberto Possati (Windsurfing), as well as Sebastian Cattelan and Martin Carter (Kitesurfing), are some of the stars of this year's showdown.
Pep Bonet will be shooting video and photo alongside Stefan Csaky, but he will also race at Luderitz. The Spaniard hopes to improve his personal best of 44.3 knots set during the 1995 Tarifa World Cup Speed Week.
The speed sailing event is expecting wind to blow on average at 35 knots plus, at least three times a week during the five-week waiting period. Organisers believe that the warm and stable wind will often reach between 40 and 45 knots, and occasionally peak at 50, 55, 60 and maybe 65 knots.
Live Results - The event will feature a state-of-the-art video timing system that will send the riders' speeds at the channel directly to the official website in real-time. The stakes are really high, but the sailors will give their best to improve personal, national, continental, and international records.
Let's not forget that the world's fastest windsurfer is Antoine Albeau with 53.27 knots (98.65 km/h), and the fastest kiteboarder on the planet is Alex Caizergues with 57.97 knots (107.36 km/h).
Namibia's Luderitz and France's Salin-de-Giraud are currently the windiest speed sailing strips on the planet.
37.29 knots: Zara Davis sets a new speed sailing record
The British windsurfer sailed at 37.29 knots during the La Palme Speed Masters 2018, in the south of France.
Davis, who held the record for nearly 12 years, saw her mark of 34.74 knots being smashed by Heidi Ulrich at the French event. On July 16, the Swiss windsurfer improved Zara's world record after sailing at 35.91 knots.
However, the veteran sailor from Clevedon only needed five days to reclaim the fastest mark on a nautical mile speedway.
"It was the first time I have sailed this spot. It was an interesting experience, even though I have not done the nautical mile for 12 years. I had some difficult kit choices," explained Davis.
"It was again a close competition with Heidi Ulrich. It was hard having to fly home and go back to work with no world record that I had held for 12 years, but the mission to return to La Palme and take the record back was well worth it."
The nautical mile is one of the three most popular speed sailing records, alongside the 500-meter record and the 24-hour distance record.
The rules for the one nautical mile record are identical to the 500-meter regulations, except that instead of 500 meters, sailors can ride their craft over an 1852-meter course.
The new achievement by Zara Davis has already been ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC).
The ISWC Speed World Championships hosted by the Dunkerbeck Speed Championships, on behalf of the class, had to overcome some local difficulties displaying their event at the proposed site at Sotavento. This turned out to be a huge stroke of luck. Bjorn Dunkerbeck and his team managed to improve the event by moving to different locations on the island of Fuerteventura.
The island had for the whole competition period unusually fluky winds from the North East. This meant that, had the Championships been run on the intended site which had light winds and side shore winds over the whole competition, we would not have had any competition rounds.
The best location with this direction turned out to be Punto de Jandia, about as far South as you can get on the island of Fuerteventura. A beautiful isolated spot in the national park accessed via 19 km of unmade dirt roads. The remoteness of the site did cause a headache for the organisers as the GPS units used transmitted data via a mobile phone signal. This was poor in the area and caused delays and some missed runs but the majority of this was overcome. These limitations were worth it though, as 3 championship rounds were held in ideal offshore winds ranging from the minimum 20 knots to the windiest round held with winds over 40 knots and top speeds of almost 43 knots.
The competition as always at this event was fierce but the experience of the top riders shone through with the top spots of the men's and women's fleets were won by last year's winners Twan Verseput from Holland in the men's fleet and Zara Davis from the UK winning the women's fleet for a record 3rd time.
Twan was kept honest by very experienced PWA slalom racer new to speed sailing Andy Laufer from Germany in 2nd place who pushed previous winner and event organiser, Bjorn Dunkerbeck who was coming back from injury, into 3rd place on the podium.
Zara was also pushed by last years women's vice champion Anne Schindler from Germany who finished in 2nd place. Newcomer to the event Anja Kruse also from Germany came 3rd; she didn't get to stamp her authority on the event due to an injury off the water but has vowed to come back stronger next year.
The Class AGM was also held at the event with all the Committee up for re-election apart from chairman Peter Davis who has two years to run and Jan Hendrick De Bruin from Holland who stepped down and was thanked for his time on the board. Experienced racer and Italian businessman Alberto Possati was nominated and was voted in unanimously to replace him.
The 2018 Annual General Meeting of ISWC shall take place during the forthcoming World Championships on Fuerteventura - 29th June to 4th July. The exact day and time will be announced during the event, depending upon wind conditions and the competition schedule.
Those members unable to attend to vote in person may vote via e-mail - see AGM notice for details
2018 Dunkerbeck Speed Challenge
For the first time, the Dunkerbeck Speed Challenge will take place at the famous classic Speed Spot - Sotavento Beach! A very fast spot with constant winds. The fastest time at this location: 44 kt on 500m & 46 kt Vmax by Bjorn Dunkerbeck.
The Speed course will be 250m long with the option to extend it to 500m (depending on the conditions)
The official timing will be realized by video. That means each sailor has to have a SAIL NUMBER on Starboard tack according to the International windsurfing Rules (https://goo.gl/ejsdsh)
Zara Davis Breaks Women's Speed Windsurfing World Record
Zara Davis has broken the women's speed windsurfing world record, at the 2017 Luderitz Speed Challenge, in Namibia.
The world's most famous speed sailing canal has once again delivered the goods. British speed windsurfer Zara Davis broke a record set in 2015.
Two years ago, Swiss bullet Karin Jaggi raised the women's bar and stole the world record from Davis by sailing at 46.31 knots in a 500-meter run. But revenge for Zara Davis arrived this year. The experienced windsurfer set the new mark at 46.49 knots, improving the previous world record by 0.38 knots.
"I am so stoked to have achieved this record for the second time and especially to do it on the new Simmer Speed Demon 40, which was incredibly stable at speed and so fast," said Zara Davis. "I have been with Simmer sails now for nine years, so I know how good they are and broke the last record on them. But this year's SC Speed sails are a big step ahead and super fast. The combination is a real winner."
At the 2017 Luderitz Speed Challenge, Davis has also peaked at 49.35 knots, and became the fastest women on GPS speed surfing of all time at 5x10 seconds.
24 year old Dutch speed star Twan Verseput is the new ISWC speed world Champion. Twan together with a huge junior fleet of young talented sailors from around the world were the stars of the Dunkerbeck GPS speed challenge.
The speed spot in Matas Blancas in the south of Fuerteventura once again delivered a fantastic week with challenging conditions that pushed the 55 strong fleet of men, women and kids to their limit. Conditions varied all week, from riders being maxed out on their smallest 5.0m sails and speed boards to the minimum wind limit slalom boards and 7.8 m sails.
The surprise upset from the 1st heat was that 42 times world champion and the winner of the last 3 years at this event was not winning! The young speed star from Holland, Twan was on form from the start. He then went on to win 3 of the 7 heats and 2nd place in all the rest, despite Bjorn using all his experience to fight back. Both he and the Strong man from Sweden, Markus Emanuelsson, had to fight all week for the 2nd and 3rd place positions. With Bjorn on the last heat of the week taking 1st place and 2nd overall. As if to make a point, Bjorn achieved the fastest run of the week at 38.66 knots.
The new World Champion Twan had this to say at the prizegiving at the prestigious R2 Rio Calma hotel: "This is my 2nd time at this event, the Pro Am concept works great here and I would encourage anyone to come. When I was younger I never thought I would be competing with my hero Bjorn Dunkerbeck let alone beat him. I am still in shock!"
The women's fleet went more according to the form book. With the double world record holder Zara Davis from the United Kingdom winning all of her heats to become World champion for the 2nd year. This was despite strong challenges from her rival from last year Anne Schindler from Germany in 2nd place and attending her first speed event PWA rider Miriam Rasmussen in 3rd place. Zara said on winning her 2nd world title at this spot, "I was super happy to win here again, the other girls are getting quicker every year and I can't afford to take any round for granted."
The UK had a very strong team of riders entered this year. Jim Crossley, who has been to this event 3 times, came out top male Brit in 5th place overall. But Nigel Spriggs on his first time at this event made a late charge once he got used to the conditions and was giving Jim a run for his money towards the end. Tim Frampton was the final member of the team who really struggled in the first few days but also improved all week and promised to be back next year.
The truly international fleet of riders from all over the world came together to create a very special vibe. Rivals on the water for sure but they offered support, encouragement and help to each other, to go faster and faster. The real stars of the show were the large youth and junior fleets with entries coming as far away as Canada and the youngest entrant, Ancor Sosa at 9 years old. They all performed brilliantly in some very tough conditions, out pushing hard for a hour at a time in their rounds without stopping. They drew some of the biggest smiles from their parents and admiration from the rest of the competitors and public. 1st youth place went to Jonas Thyme from Denmark and the fastest junior Alexa Escherich from Germany.
The last word must go to Bjorn Dunkerbeck, the event's founder and last year's ISWC World Speed Champion. "We are very happy with this year's event, great vibe 4th time at this site and second time hosting the World Championships. Congratulations to Twan, at half my age he just had more speed than me this time. But watch out, I will be back!"
Dunkerbeck GPS Speed Challenge/ISWC Speed World Championship 2017
The best speed sailors from around the world descended on the island of Fuerteventura for the fourth edition of the Dunkerbeck GPS Speed Challenge which started with epic conditions on Matas Blancas beach. In winds of up to 40 Knots and a massive shore break the fifty plus strong men's fleet, women and kids made the most of it from day one with peak speeds of over 40 knots.
After five valid heats the men's open fleet is not going to form! The leader is Dutchman Twan Verseput followed by Sweden's Marcus Emanuelsson and, surprisingly, 42 times world champion and winner of the three previous editions, Bjorn Dunkerbeck is in third position so far. But knowing Bjorn he will not take this lying down and will be fighting back hard to retain his World Speed title.
The Lady's fleet is once again clearly dominated by Zara Davis, but she is being kept honest and chased hard by her rival from last year Anne Schindler and the newcomer to speed Miriam Rasmussen from Norway in third.
New this year is the timing measurement system from DotVision.com that provides live-tracking of each rider online. The speeds of the rider can be followed on the computer or mobile phone giving a fantastic interactive experience. If you want to follow the action live, go to www. Motion.dotvision.com/events. You can also replay all the heats so far.
There are three race days left with promising wind conditions remaining. Stay tuned!
ISWC Notice of AGM
The 2017 Annual General Meeting of ISWC shall take place during the forthcoming World Championships on Fuerteventura - 30thJune to 5th July. The exact day and time will be announced during the event, depending upon wind conditions and the competition schedule.
Those members unable to attend to vote in person may vote via e-mail - see AGM notice for details
For the fourth year in a row, the Dunkerbeck GPS Speed Challenge will take place in Fuerteventura! To be able to take part in the ISWC World Championship all riders must be members of the ISWC. Click here to open the ISWC inscription form. Enter the event here.
Speed Windsurfing elect new chairman and new committee
The Annual General Meeting of the International Speed Windsurfing Class Association took place on Fuerteventura during the 2016 Speed Windsurfing World Championships.
A new chairman and committee were elected to take the discipline forward over the next quadrennial.
Pete Davis, incoming Chairman, thanked the members for their support and said he was looking forward to delivering a full championship programme in 2017. The other committee members elected were: - Victor Couto, Spain - Jan Hendrik de Bruin, Netherlands - Raffaello Gardelli, Switzerland - Orlando Lavandera, Spain - Anne Schindler, Germany.
During the third Soronmasters 2016 we had a fairly good wind, 66 slalom competitors, 21 Freestyle competitors and 39 Dunkerbeck Speed Challenge competitors. The youngest competitor was 8 years and the eldest competitor will be 70 at the end of June ?16. Every day we had DJ Limoncello and Dan?s Classics to keep good vibes on the beach during and after the competitions.
Together with Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Philippe Bru we decided that the Defiwind Caribbean 2017 will be from June 17th until June 21st and the Sorobonmasters and Dunkerbeck Speed Challenge 2017 will be from June 22nd until June June 25th at Sorobon Beach Resort.
After an exciting week full of races and battles on the water, a very successful Dunkerbeck GPS Speed Challenge has come to an end. After several years without an official World Championship, this year the Dunkeberck GPS Speed Challenge hosted the ISWC World Championship, with more than 50 competitors from 10 different countries fighting for the World Crown in both the Men?s and Women?s categories.
The Annual General Meeting of ISWC shall take place during the forthcoming World Championships on Fuerteventura (1st to 5th June). The exact date and agenda will be published no later than the 20th May.
Calling all speed windsurfers - renew your membership now!
The International Speed Windsurfing Class (ISWC) invite you to join now for 2016 at a new reduced fee.
Full membership of the class, including full voting rights, is only available to individuals, the speed windsurfers of the world. This year will see the announcement of a World Championship, at which will be held an Annual General Meeting of members. Full details will follow later this month.
A current membership of the class is a requirement to participate in both the class championships and the AGM.
It's official - the 2016 Dunkerbeck GPS Speed Challenge will crown Speed Sailing World Champions, from June 1st-5th, in Fuerteventura's Matas Blancas, Canary Islands.
The event designed by Bjorn Dunkerbeck will simultaneously host the 2016 ISWC World Championship and, as a result, the competition will crown world champions in two divisions - Men and Women. Youth and Junior sailors will also receive awards for their performances.
Fuerteventura, with its flat waters and steady tradewinds, certainly has what it takes to open a new chapter in speed sailing. Matas Blancas offers a 250-meter speed strip for both amateur and professional windsurfers traveling from all corners of the globe. When the wind's not strong enough, go surfing in Fuerteventura's multiple spots.
Speed is probably one of the most exciting disciplines in windsurfing. The world record for the fastest ever windsurf run - 53.27 knots - belongs to Antoine Albeau. The Frenchman raised the bar in Namibia during the 2015 Luderitz Speed Challenge.
For three years Zara Davis had been untouchable with her benchmark speed of over 45 knots. With her hand well and truly on the record, Davis seemed like an unreachable force until Karin Jaggi put an end to Davis's run. Clocking an impressive 46.31 knots, after a month in Luderitz, with plenty of highs and lows, Jaggi pushed the limits of speed to secure this new women's World Record.
The ISWC will hold its AGM in Fuerte during this event - details to follow very soon.
Dunkerbeck GPS Speed Challenge to crown the European Speed Sailing Champions
For the second year in a row, the Dunkerbeck GPS Speed Challenge will take place in Fuerteventura from the 27th of June until the 3rd of July.
Fuerteventura is an easy place to travel to and the constant tradewinds make this venue one of the best spots in the world to practice speed windsurfing. The event will be an ISWC sanctioned event, crowning the European Speed Sailing Champions. We will have all categories participating, from juniors and youth, right through to Masters, in both men?s and women?s categories.
The 250m long course is both challenging enough for the pros to achieve fast speeds and easy enough for amateurs to give their all and go after their PB speeds, the spot of Matas Blancas in the south of Fuerte will again provide a fantastic ground for amateur and professional riders to mix.
Last year we saw several World Record holders, World Champions and European Champions enter the event and we are sure that this year we will also see some familiar faces. GPS technology will allow us to run multiple races everyday and we will get updated results daily so don?t forget to check your favourite social media channel for the latest results.
We would like to thank the Town Hall of P?jara, R2 Hotels, E-11 Dunkerbeck-eyewear and Surf & Action, for their help in making this event happen. We still have some spaces available so if you would like to enter or have any info regarding the event please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The ISWC is a recognised class by ISAF for the running of World, Continental and National windsurfing speed events.
Let's go racing! Register now and be part of the Dunkerbeck GPS Speed Challenge 2015
Remember last year we had 3 Generations on the water Liam D. 10 Y Eugen D. 70 y and myself and we all will be there again this year !
The need for speed !!! saludos, Bjorn
NWF Speed Challenge 18/19 Apr @ OTC Portland
The NWF Speed Challenge is an all inclusive event, with a Mission to encourage all abilities and ages to the simple format of SPEED,
It's all about how fast you sail over the weekend, not necessarily about breaking your own PB. There will be a GPS section for those with existing GPS units and we also have a limited number of units to hire over the weekend?..
We will have several speed guns out on the course too?.
We are attempting to attract new comers and existing speed sailors to the challenge but also juniors too from the age of 8yrs upwards?. Plus there will be a separate techno speed class too.
This is an individual and team event plus we will have a separate class for non cambered sails too.
The UK Windsurfing Industry are eager to support and will be at hand with demo equipment and first hand advice to make you sail FASTER.
The clinics will be hosted by the fastest sailors in the county, both male & female.
There will be oodles of equipment available to hire from the OTC
Youth under 16yrs ?25 / Over the age of 16yrs ?50
Luderitz Speed Challenge 2014 Now On . . .
The Chris Benz Luderitz World Record Chase is seeing another page of the adventure being written. The hard work, dedication and training have paid dividends! The level of riders participating in the 2014 event is very high and the new records prove it.
The wind increased throughout day two reaching 35 knots with stronger gusts exceeding 40 knots plus. A passionate battle was fought between Anders Bringdal, the Swedish legend, and 2013 event winner, Patrick Diethelm, the Italian Record Holder, and Hans Kreisel, the young talented Dutch rider.
Hans Kreisel who has lead most of the day has reached 49.66 knots followed by Anders Bringdal with 49.61 kts and then, Patrik Diethelm killed it, exceeding 50 knots 4 times, achieving a new Italian Record with 51.09 kts (was previously 50.49 kts).
Martin Toth from Czech Republik has improved his Record from yesterday on his first run today with 41.42 kts (was 39.96) and increased it with44.63 knots.
Franz Grabner, Austria, who was close to his country's national Record yesterday with 42.09 kts, pushed hard, very hard and achieved an excellent 47.88 knots!
Remo Diethelm the Swiss Record Holder with 47 knots went close to his record today with 46.87 knots.
Andrea Baldini, Italian Windsurfer beat his best speed today with 42.79 knots (was 41.94 knots) as did the South African, Hennie Bredenkamp, with 45.3 knots (was 42.99 knots).
Jacques van der Hout from Netherlands who also competed with the best and achieved the 4th time in the ranking day: 48.28 knots!
Erik Beale, the famous British windsurfer, is launching his comeback at Luderitz! He was the first person to go to 40 knots in the 80's and is a legend of the speed sailing world. He arrived only late today but had set up his equipment and got the feeling of the channel to be ready to tackle the windy days ahead.
For Friday the conditions are not good enough to race so let's see on Saturday how it goes . . .
Luderitz Speed Challenge 2014 Preparation Is On . . .
This year, 20 riders (max per week) will fight to break National & World Records. It will further push performance limits. Like in previous years, Research & Development of the canal continues to improve year on year due to relevant feedback from competitors and maximizing the canal's conditions. The result? Faster speeds in less wind!
The spirit of this unique event is to share, learn and compete in a Community. This country is exactly the area where this atmosphere is largely felt everywhere. Performance & Collectivity is our aim. The adventure is experienced on all fronts.
Luderitz and Namibia has become a place which has revolutionized our sport. It has inspired the speed industry all over the World and has pushed other events and grown the interest in our sport in general. Each year, our Community of speed riders with Legends and numerous Record Holders promote the sport and share their passion and skills with the local children. In this wonderful and unique union, event after annual event, a special relationship has formed joining two very different worlds.
We are convinced that the 2014 Event will be equally if not more exciting and exhilerating than previous Luderitz Speed Challenge Events.
The Dunkerbeck European Speed Championships are over and the 2014 ISWC European Champions have been crowned.
The racing was hard fought over 6 days with some very fast speeds of over 40 knots. The mens fleet, was dominated from the start by Bjorn Dunkerbeck who had nine straight wins, with Anders Bringdal, Jurjen Van Der Noord and Serge Beumer all fighting for 2nd and 3rd place. Jurjen with his consistent high speeds came out top taking the second spot and Anders in third.
In the women's fleet, Zara Davis was also dominating over her rival from Luderitz, Lena Erdil with 7 wins out of the nine and finishing 18th overall. Lena took second place from newcomer Anna Schindler.
The organisers were also keen to encourage all comers to the event. Highlighted by the fact the 3 generations of Dunkerbeck's were taking part from Grandfather Eugene at 71 down to Liam at 10. The junior fleet and had an afternoon slot for them to race by themselves with encouragement from the crowed and the rest of the fleet. The clear winner was Robin Van Linden followed by Alexa Escherich the only junior girl and Liam Dunkerbeck following in his fathers footsteps in third.
The event was great success and a credit to the hard work of the organisers, race director and rescue team. They are planning more of these speed events in the future with the aim to have one on every continent by 2016. The Pro Am concept is designed to encourage more Windsurfers even with free ride equipment to try Speedsailing and rub shoulders with the legends of the sport.
We are pleased to announce the Official ISWC European Championships for the Dunkerbeck Fuerteventura Pro Am event with European titles for men, women and youth. The event will take place at Matas Blancas on Fuerteventura from 8-13 June.
Top stars are lined up for this event, including Anders Bringdal SWE, Jurjen Van Der Noord NED, Zara Davis GBR. And, for the first time, three generations of Dunkerbeck's will be competing at this event. That's right, Bjorn Dunkerbeck will be competing with his son Liam and his father Eugen.
A large turnout is expected with riders from all over Europe View poster
Speed Stars Share Their Secrets...
Martyn Ogier, from Guernsey, was another top rider and talented speedsailor to take on the might of the Luderitz canal. Martyn managed a top speed of 45.17 knots in the tricky conditions this year, but we?re sure he and all the others could have really pushed their numbers with a little more wind.
We cannot help wondering how much faster the Brits could go next year, if the conditions come through. Or even if they could be breaking some more records in the near future at our home speed strip of West Kirby. With the likes of Farrel O'Shea, Zara Davis, Ian Richards and more all here and going faster and faster, 2014 certainly looks like it will be a year to remember for speedsailing!
Want to check out more on speedsailing on Boards? Here's our favourite features:
2013 Speed Challenge In Luderitz - The Chris Benz World Record Race
Sebastien Cattelan and Sophie Routaboul the 2 organizers of this amazing records factory in Luderitz delivered the 2013 edition: Chris Benz World Record Race had 18 different nationalities competing and produced better performances in lighter wind conditions. The channel for this year's event was further improved in length, width and better angle. A total of 36 records from 11 nations were broken.
This Speed Challenge has proved year on year to be the most efficient place for numerous riders to achieve new records which now total 64 National and 11 World Records.
The only place now where you can see the Legends of Windsurfing such as Bjorn Dunkerbeck, Antoine Albeau and Anders Bringdal, together defying the elements and competing to be the fastest in the world, is in Luderitz, Namibia.
21times World champion and current World Record Holder in Windsurfing Antoine Albeau was leading the race with 50.07 kts in light conditions but was surpassed by Swede Anders Bringdal, World Record Holder on a production board who reached 50.43 kts.
Zara Davis (UK), World Record Holder in Windsurfing, once again performed very well by reaching the best speed in Windsurfing female ranking with 43.77 kts.
The French Kitesurfer, organizer and double World Record Holder Sebastien Cattelan, reached the best overall performance this year with 55.36 kts. He was really close to breaking the World Record again this year; his co-organiser and partner Sophie Routaboul, who achieved the best performance in Kitesurfing (ladies) with an impressive 45.44 kts
At the 2012 event, Dutch Jurjen Van der Noord was the revelation and at this year's event, Hans Kreisel, also from the Netherlands impressed everyone with his performances. He is also one of the youngest sailors.
The UK's very own Zara Davis has been out in Namibia at the world famous speed trench in Luderitz. Already known for inflecting far too much pain on herself, Zara racked up a pretty hefty stitch count last year, we heard in excess of 50 stitches! Despite this, she showed her no fear approach and returned again this year, so how could it possibly get any worse?
"The first 3 days of the challenge were good with winds up to about 40 knots and some national records were broken . . . I had a bad crash on my last run of the day - unlucky, I twisted my knee and ruptured a ligament on the inside."
The Luderitz Speed Challenge is an annual speed sailing event, held since 2007 in Luderitz, Namibia, in the southern hemisphere spring. It is observed by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). ......( more )
Day two of the Boards 'Speed Week' and today we're catching up with another British speed superstar, Steve Thorp. On Monday Farrel O'Shea shared his wisdom in the 'Beginner's Guide to Speedsailing', now we ramp things up a little as Steve Thorp divulges his 10 speedsailing secrets.
"There is one place on the planet where the trees seem to tremble and the earth shakes . . . here there is certainty, precision, absolute focus . . . We have the ability to do anything and yet we choose to risk everything . . ." This year's world record race in Luderitz Namibia from 7 October to the 17 November will send riders into unknown territory. The best riders from all over the World in Windsurfing & Kitesurfing will come to smash National & World Records. "The battle to be the fastest is not only about challenging someone else it's about challenging themselves."
When Australian Paul Larsen shattered the outright speed record in Namibia on November 24, 2012, piloting Vestas SailRocket to 65.45 knots on theWalvis Bay 500 meter track, it was the result of a decade of diligence.
But what is Sailrocket, and how did it eclipse the speed of 55.65 knots set by American kiter Rob Douglas in 2010?
One of the fundamental keys to Sailrocket's performance is eliminating the heeling force, but she's not the first to this by a long way. By canting their rigs to windward and with the sails above their heads, windsurfers do it all the time to balance out the forces. Once in equilibrium, as they hammer along in straight line, there is no heeling moment on the board itself. Instead, it's all about balancing the sail forces against the skeg.
In practice, Sailrocket is rather more complex because of her size, but essentially she is just a big windsurfer with the hull and crew pulling down on the tip of the mast and a strut lower down instead of sitting in a harness attached to the wishbone.
Comments: Current record: Karin Yaggi. SUI, 41.25 kts in 2005 at Les Saintes Maries. Zara Davis broke the record on 4 occasions over 3 days of attempts.
The annual competition held on the man made canal in Namibia has come to a close for another year.
After so many records were broken many riders were hopeful that the last Thursday would deliver more wind that would enable the speeds to be pushed a little further, but unfortunately it was not to be. Yet this will surely go down as one of the best speed sailing competitions in history, with many record broken, many times, and of course the overall speed record not only being taken over 50knots, but over 52 by Antoine Albeau!
Here on Boards we have covered the event every step of the way, so to check out all the coverage just head here; posts include videos, interviews with Antoine Albeau and Zara Davis, images and of course details of even record broken and top speed reached!
We would also like to congratulate all the riders that took part this year, it has been incredible to see everyone pushing the top speeds and it's certainly inspired us to get the GPS out! Article on Boards
Zara Davis on BBC 1 Breakfast Talking about her trip to Namibia and Her new womens world record
50 knots+ at Luderitz!!
Both Antoine Albeau and Anders Bringdal broke the 'Holy Grail' half century threshold at the man-made channel in Luderitz, Namibia.
Sweden's Bringdal was the first man over-the-line, smashing through with an average speed over 500m of 50.41 knots followed closely by a 50.46 knot run. Shortly afterwards France's previous record-holder and 2012 PWA Slalom World Champ Antoine Albeau logged an astonishing 50.59 knots!
Tonnes of other national records and PBs followed, including Farrell O'Shea who achieved a new UK record of 48.21 knots. At this point it is unclear whether Bringdal's top speed constitutes a Production board record or not. The speeds quoted here are as-quoted by the Luderitz Speed event organisers, but the GPS 'Speed Surfing' website is showing some even higher peaks and ,although no official WSSRC confirmation has been received, currently displays Anders Bringdal as holding a mammoth 50.62 knot (500m) run at the top of its all-time speeds ladder. Report from Windsurf Magazine
Great news and bad news for Zara Davis . . . She broke her women's world record again with an amazing run of 44.69 knots. But on the last run of the day she fell past the finish line and was caught by a gust and hit the mast hard and had to be taken to hospital for 7 stiches. Zara says "it was a great day and I'm fine and will be back for the next session on Saturday when I hope to go faster!!!"
The first 2 days of this Windsurfing World Record Attempt have already created a communication buzz all over the world!
Antoine Albeau, who is currently - and has been for 20 times in the past - the World Champion in Slalom held the previous World Windsurfing Record of 49.09 kts (2008), has just broken it again today with 49.41 kts! The fact that this close-to-50-knots record was set in only 38 knots of wind, makes us all see the possibilities of the next days with more serious wind conditions!
The Swedish legend Anders Bringdal, who lead the 1st day, broke the World Record in Windsurfing on Production board twice on day two - and he improved his national Record to 48.38 knots !
The Female World Record in Windsurfing was broken twice by Zara Davis who obviously enjoys the new concept and the new "Luderitz Speed Challenge" channel! With 44.19 knots she is also the fastest Female British windsurfer. Read more . . .
The 40th Anniversary of Weymouth Speed Week was the host to the final round of the European Speed Tour. Light winds for the first few days but they built towards the end of the week. The conditions were tough on the first 4 rounds with winds from the east meaning a course set in the harbour and the inevitable chop! the final two rounds on the last day was the best with winds from the traditional SW and a flat course along the beach.
The racing was close between the top 4 contenders David Garrel LUX Last years winner, Thorsten Mallon GER 2nd last year and leading coming in to this event, Daniel Borgelind SWE on the back of a win from Germany was on great form and so was his fellow countryman Anders Bjorqvist.
The Walvis Bay Speedweek wrapped up with the prize giving ceremony on Saturday 29 September after a highly successful event.
There were three days during the week were the course was open for speed sailing and the competitors took to the water in challenging conditions.
The open format where the sailors would go out and record their runs over the gated 500m course on a GPS worked very well. There was no time pressure and sailors could tune their equipment and recharge their energy levels when they needed to. This lead to very good performances by the competitors and a lot of personal bests were recorded.
The Walvis bay Speedweek is making a comeback in 2012!
This will be a recognised event by the ISWC and the winners will be awarded the title African Speed Windsurfing Champions.
The event is being staged by the legendary Hennie Bredenkamp and will run from the 23rd to the 29th of September. Full details can be found including details on accommodation, NOR and Entry forms on their website.
The dates of the 2012 Luderitz Speed Challenge have been confirmed and registration opened. Scheduled to run from the 5th November until the 2nd December, the 2012 Luderitz World Speed Sailing attempt is set to be better than ever before.
Two years have been spent constructing a new course in Namibia and this will be the first time many of the top names have fired themselves down it attempting to break the 50-knot barrier. Built 300m further inland from the original course, the new speed run is said to have cleaner wind and be set at a better angle to the prevailing wind - all essential factors in world record attempts.
Current entries include Anders Bringdal, Farrel O'Shea, Andrea Baldini and Zara Davis, who will join them in November? Keep an eye on http://www.luderitz-speed.com/ to find out!
Zara Davis the UK's queen of speed has been voted UK windsurfer of the year
The UKWA (United Kingdom Windsurfing Association) is very pleased to announce the winner of the UK windsurfer of the year Zara Davis. Zara had a fantastic year to gain her nomination including achieving a new women's production speed record in Namibia. Then back to back wins, in three rounds of the European speed tour to become the ISWC European champion for the second time in her career. She also won the UK Weymouth speed week for a record 6th time as well as the women's British GPS 2011 speed ladder.
During the month of November, the Luderitz Speed Challenge 2011 took place in one of the windiest places on Earth, in the howling landscape of Namibia in Africa. Winds often reach 60 knots, and blast offshore across a flat barren beach - which is the ideal recipe for speedsailing!
Long time Windsurfing legend Anders Bringdal, who now spends his all time running Mistral Windsurfing, jumped at the chance to test out the course in Luderitz, and in doing so instantly became the fastest windsurfer in the world!