The Lüderitz Speed Challenge 2012
Since 2007, records were smashed successively, performances have increased, the « Lüderitz Speed Challenge », World record Attempt in Speed Sailing has become a major event with a media impact which has developed the “speed” discipline and has well participated to the kitesurfing industry evolution. Nevertheless, its organizors, Sébastien Cattelan and Sophie Routaboul have seen there the opportunity for the windsurfers to come back in front of the stage and find a location with the best conditions to express themselves. So, from 2009, after several tests, the report sets: the potential is there, let’s build a CANAL…
2010 EDITION set a new record and all the nations know that Lüderitz is the fastest spot in the World!.
THANKS TO THE NEW CANAL BUILT IN THE BAY, THE ULTIMATE RECORD IS SMASHED: 55.65 Knots.
Only two years after the 50 knots barrier was broken, the 55 Knots (103 km/h) barrier was smashed: 100km/h (54.10 knots) and “The Lüderitz Speed Challenge” have managed to get back the title from the multi-million boat “L’Hydroptère” (51.36 knots). Only 2 competitors in the world have reached the 55 knots so far:
Sébastien Cattelan (55.49 kts-European Record) and Rob Douglas (55.65 kts-Ultimate World Record)
2011 WAS THE BEGINNING OF A NEW AREA from an historical project:
Although the 2010 canal made the world of a difference, the conditions still need improvement for faster records to be set, especially to represent the windsurfing community which is huge in the World. Thus Sébastien Cattelan, Sophie Routaboul and his team have invested a lot of money and time to research the possibilities of widening and lengthening the canal, and creating even smoother water surfaces for faster speeds, deeper water but also improving the safety of the finish area.
After 1 year battling to set up the project and get the authorizations, they manage to dig that canal with the support of the Namibian Ministry of Environment & Tourism,according to what they have learnt from performances, tests and experiences they made during their career.
The legend Anders Bringdal took part of this new edition as a windsurfing consultant to be able to invite all the top sailors in the world.
SUCCESS: never before a windsurfer have reached a top speed of 50,7 knots (94 km/h).
0n 10 competitors of this testing-team, 5 records were broken.
The test of this Team is a revelation: this new canal which was improved step by step until the end of the 2011 event is THE solution and will be the playground of many competitors next year as they all have realized its potential.
LUDERITZ SPEED CHALLENGE 2012 PROJECT: Old records are no news, however… Chase the unimaginable 60 knots barrier now: The Lüderitz Speed Challenge has this as its main goal and sole focus.
No other event or place in the world would be more suitable to attempt this crazy record. Organizers have worked really hard to create the right environment conducive to making it happen. It’s the combination of all their experience from previous years and of course the location which gives them the criteria they need (strong and stable wind, good angle…) which will operate.
All the arrangements have been made to manage to create a canal with all the skills that windsurfers need to join kitesurfers (record: 55,65 knots) and boats (record: 51,36 knots) in that real challenge. After obtaining the authorizations, an artificial canal was dug 300m from the bay: 1 month of hard tests and researches, making improvements, were realized during the 2011 edition to be able to present the big 2012 Challenge which will be even more watched and followed in all over the world, where the best top sailors will battle for the World title or their nation.
The list of the selected competitors will be communicated in the beginning of July for an Attempt which will happen from the 5 November to 2 December for windsurfers (registrations number being more important) and from 3 to 16 December for kitesurfers, to avoid the comparison between 2 different crafts.
Congratulations to Rob and Charlotte for winning the Orange Speed Crossing Pro!
Rob was untouchable on the runs and won 3 out of four heats. He broke the 1998 Leucate speed record of 42.25 knots held by the windsurfer Jose Bahadour from Guadeloupe with 43.32 knots.
Rob Douglas, winner of the OSC Pro, in front of Anders Bringdal and Antoine Albeau (photo credit Jef Valet kite race.fr)
Charlotte Consorti, winner of the OSC Pro, in front of Sophie Routaboul (photo credit Jeff Valet kite race.fr)
Charlotte Consorti and Sophie Routaboul were the only two women competing in the OSC pro.
Charlotte took the lead from the start and won all 4 heats.
They will all be competing this weekend in the Orange Speed Crossing Pro AM in Leucate.
As for Seb, it looks like his race boards got misplaced and didn’t make it on time to Leucate. He (scored?) a downwind race board from Xelerator to competed with an ankle injury on the fourth day and was the first kiter to cross the finish line.
See the results here:
GENETRIX IS FIRST TO 55 KNOTS – NEW WORLD AND NATIONAL RECORDS ALSO SET IN NAMIBIA
The Luderitz Speed Challenge has finally come to a close. Congratulations to all the competitors, the organizers, sponsors and Sebastien Cattelan for making this event possible. It wasn’t always easy to please everyone but in the end, the new course proved to be a winner making speeds of more than 55 knots attainable for the first time ever.
12 national speed records were also achieved, and 7 of them were set on the Genetrix Hydra!
Catman was the first one to break the 50 knot sailing speed record in 2008 which was taken from him by Alex Caizergues 24 hours later. History almost repeated itself in 2010. This time around, Catman was the first to reach 55 knots and again became the fastest sailor in the world on the Genetrix Hydra with 55,49 knots (102.6 km/hr). But only an hour later Rob Douglas edged him out by 15 hundredths of a second and managed to set another new world record of 55,64 knots, taking it back home to the US. Congratulation to Rob for being the fastest man.
Seb remains the new speed sailing record holder of France and Europe! Congratulations also to Charlotte Consorti for being the first woman to reach speeds over 50 with 50.43 knots.
New world record by Rob Douglas (USA) with 55.65
New french and european record by Seb Cattelan (FR) with 55.49
New world record feminine by Charlotte Consorti (FR) with 50.43
Still awaiting the ISAF and the WSSRC official results.