The current world record speed on water is held by kitesurfer Rob Douglas with an impressive speed of 55.65 knots (103.06 km/h) at the Luderitz Speed Trials in Namibia. Presently, the windsurfing speed record hasn’t broken the 50 knot barrier yet but there are constant attempts to do so.
The current windsurfing speed record holder is Antoine Ableau, who in 2008 achieved a record of 49.09 knots (90.91 km/h) in a specially built canal in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in the Camargue, South of France.
So far this year, Sweden’s Anders Bringdal has come closest to breaking the windsurfing record with a speed of 48.03 knots at Luderitz.
2012 Luderitz Speed Challenge
This year’s Luderitz Speed Challenge will take place in November and December and has taken organisers almost 2 years to ensure that conditions are ideal for speed sailing to progress and for more records to be broken.
In 2011, in a bid to ensure perfect speed sailing conditions, a canal was dug 300m away from the lagoon and a private event was held to ‘test’ the new setup. Using the private event as a trial, further modifications were made to the canal to ensure safety and improve speeds resulting in faster times in less wind. The improvements were:
– Competitors can race anytime of the day as the canal is no longer dependent upon tide.
– Valuable time and energy is not wasted having to beat back upwind to the start, as a shuttle is provided at the end of the speed strip.
– The water depth is maintained throughout the length of the run, which is a requirement of the WSSRC for official ratification.
Let’s hope in November and December when the speedsters are in Luderitz we will see some record breaking action.
Source: Xtreme Sport