THE 50 KNOT BARRIER IN WINDSURFING IS BROKEN!
After the previous days promising results, everyone felt that breaking the 50 knot barrier was a done deal.
On the 4th race day, this never-before-broken barrier was smashed! Records kept tumbling almost with every run this afternoon. Some of the speeds still need to be confirmed by the Time Keeper.
First, the Swedish Record Holder Anders Bringdal broke the 50 knot barrier twice, with 50.41 and then 50.46 knots improving the world Record on Production Board as well!
After that Antoine Albeau surpassed Anders’ performance with 50.62 knots recovering his position of World Record holder in Windsurfing, which was also shortly held by Cédric Bordes in the afternoon with 49.66 knots.
Zara Davis has also improved her World Record in Windsurfing with 44.92 knots and also Lena improved her Turkish Record with 43.81.
The record on Tandem has been also broken (1 board / 2 sails / 2 riders) with 38.12 knots!
And lots of other National Records were smashed!
Mark Grinnell from South Africa and Matthias Röttcher from Namibia were successively improving their national records which they had already broken earlier during the day.
Mark: 46.49 kts and Matthias: 46.69 kts.
Jurjen Van Der Noord, the Dutch competitor who has just made his first runs today broke the Dutch Record with 47.53 kts.
Patrick Diethelm has improved his Swiss Record and is the 3rd time in the Windsurfing world as well with 49.71 knot!
Nick Vardalachos from Greece and the British Farrell O’Shea improved their record.
Nick: 48.84 kts and Farrell: 48.21 kts.
Christian Benzing who was battling with his German fellow countrymen, broke the German Record in Windsurfing with 45.57 knots.
This incredible day has now gone into the windsurfing history books.The world’s windsurfing community was waiting for a “come back” in Speed Sailing. The goal of the 2012 “Lüderitz Speed Challenge” was to work on that point and offer the best conditions to finally break this mythical barrier. We can expect even better results during the coming days.
During the 2012 “Lüderitz Speed Challenge” 16 different nationalities will come together over 6 weeks.
This week France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Turkey and Sweden have sent their representatives.
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 news concept and the new “Lüderitz Speed Challenge” channel! With 44.19 knots she is also the fastest Female British sailor.
Lena Aylin Erdil has also learnt how to go fast in a few runs, breaking the Female Turkish Record several times during the past two days, reaching 41.53 knots.
Farrel O’Shea has expertly defended his colours by beating the UK Record twice, ending with 46.15 knots!
Patrick Diethelm who holds the Italian Record is a double Record Holder. Sailing under the flag of Switzerland this year, he broke the Swiss Record with 46.29 knots.
The French rider Cédric Bordes managed to sail the exact time of the previous Windsurfing Record showing 49.09 knots!
The German competitors are on track and produced excellent times, alternating the record position among them. Christian Bornemann broke the German record in windsurfing twice during the past two days, and he currently holds it at 43.93 knots while Dieter Gerichhausen reached 42.92 knots, holding this record for a time during the day. Christian Benzing from “Chris Benz watches” reached a personal best with 40.33 knots, not far behind his fellow countrymen.
The “Lüderitz Speed Challenge” 2012 is officially opened.
The ceremony gathered the members of the Town Council, the sponsors, the local committee, the inhabitants of Lüderitz, and the riders.
In a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, windsurfers attended the very first briefing.
On Monday, the Windsurfers went through their mental and physical preparation to become familiar with the canal !
With the arrival of Antoine Albeau, Alberto Possati and Cédric Bordes, the team is being assembled for the first week of the “Lüderitz Speed Challenge” 2012.
Full of Energy, The Windsurfing team is headed up by Anders BRINGDAL, who is spokesman for the group, which is promising. There is a feeling of “Unity and strength”…
Here is a list of riders:
13 November 2011:
Mother nature had the final say today, and it only blew 30 knots with occasional gusts. Seb clocked the best speed of the day with 51.36 knots. He was the only contender over 50 knots.
Congratulations to Anders Bringdal (50.72 Vmax) and Taro Niehaus (51.64 knots) for their performance record, and to Seb, Sophie and the rest of the team and sponsors for making this event possible.
Sébastien is confident he can reach 60 knots in kitesurfing, and is making it his goal. Windsurfing speeds currently trail that of kitesurfing, but Sebastian has made it his first priority to create optimal conditions in the canal for the windsurfers to push the limits.
Positive energy is needed to manage this adventure, and an interesting challenge lies ahead for us to discover how best to achieve this. We need to share ideas and opinions with people who have different experience with the sea so we can collaboratively create the ideal run.
The new canal has proved to be more beneficial for windsurfers than for kitesurfers thus far, but some options still remain to improve this for both disciplines.
Although the organizers treated this year as a test for the new canal (which was dug just before the start), the results look very promising and windsurfing legend, Anders Bringdal, managed to reach truly impressive speeds on his first day. He had a 50.72 Vmax, which is a first in windsurfing history.
Kite surfing records and performances will follow – step by step the dream of this Team has been realized over the past 5 years, and the much improved run in the ideal location will usher in a new era in speed sailing and become the perfect platform for international and outright records.
Sponsors who choose to be part of this will play a pivotal role in shaping sailing history.
Taro Niehaus of team Genetrix has set a new South African record of 51.64 knots, and Seb had 51.2. I’m not sure what Anders’s 500m average was, but he had another 50+ peak today (50.3 kts).
This is a phenomenal effort and well deserved; Taro didn’t hold back, which takes a lot of guts and confidence in your equipment and ability. It was not easy going out there, and despite this he came out unscathed and clocked the best speed so far.
Well done Lighty, I salute your achievement !!!
Strong wind is forecast until Sunday, so I’m sure the speeds will climb further.
Seb took a break over the past week and I have not doubt that he will dial it in before Sunday, which is forecast to be the strongest day.
Source: Basil Cambanis
The Hydra and Luderitz
23 October 2011
Today was a light wind day (in the 20’s) and marked the start of a new wind cycle. It was a great introduction for the riders to the new canal. The finishing area is wide and long, and instills the confidence needed to cross the finish at full speed. The depth is more than adequate, and we’ll test out windsurfers on it within a few days time.
The wind was very gusty today, and the Genetrix kites helped prevent unnecessary accidents due to unforeseen gusts and lulls mid-run. They handle gusts like no other and have the biggest depower range, which makes them ideal for Luderitz.
The best average speed was 45 knots, with peaks just less than 50 knots. The wind is expected to blow stronger tomorrow, so let’s see what speeds the new canal can yield.
“What I found is there seems to be a lot more wind towards the end of the run, but time will tell when it blows stronger. Getting back to the start was done by either beating back upwind in the lagoon and walking the rest of the way, or catching a lift on the back of a bakkie. The timing system worked flawlessly, so we’re all set for the big day to see what speeds are possible”.
The World Record Attempt in Speed Sailing
Namibia: October 20th – November 17th 2011
The “Lüderitz Speed Challenge” has been held in Namibia since 2007, and is a World Record Attempt in Speed Sailing that has produced more than 40 World & National Records to date.
The organisers, Sophie Routaboul and Sébastien Cattelan have constantly innovated in their attempt to push the limits, and have recently obtained authorisation to dig a new channel away from the Second Lagoon shoreline, which has been used thus far. This is necessary to make it possible to break the 60 knot barrier (over 500m), which is the new challenge (115km/h under sail). Last year, the famous hydrofoil boat “L’Hydroptère” held the Outright Record with 51.36 knots (95km/h over 500m), but was beaten during “The 2010 Lüderitz Speed Challenge” by the kitesurfers who established the World Record in Speed Sailing with 55.65 knots (64/mph, 103km/h over 500m).
This has been a large scale and difficult project to undertake, which made these two driven extreme sports enthusiasts decide to officially test the newly built channel before taking on the responsibility of organising a fully-fledged event. A full scale event is planned for 2012 where numerous international competitors will be invited.
As the stakes increase and the speeds achieved are pushed higher, the organisation of each event has become more challenging in itself.
The consequences of this recognised official record attempt are far reaching. This event combines an environmental aspect together with the efficiency of wind power, and the human, tourism and commercial aspects, while bringing to the front stage an African country: Namibia. This is where kitesurfing (while still in its infancy), has been propelled into the headlines as being the world’s fastest craft on water.
Will this incredible and daring feat allow them to beckon in the dawn of a new playground for the windsurfing community, and give them access to the exclusive 50+ knot club? The results speak for themselves: over the past four years everything possible has been done to increase the potential of this unbelievable site, which has made the constant climb of speed sailing records possible.
The answer will be revealed between 20th October and 17th November 2011, which are the dates of the event during which windsurfing and kitesurfing performances will be done…. with the kind support of the sponsors : LM Wind Power, Genetrix and its team, SunPass Cream, The agency Chaffron Insurance, Kitaddict and the Lüderitz Community.
A video of Seb Salerno analyzing his GPS run of 50.25 knots:
He enters the run @ 50.56 knots, goes up to 53.11 and keeps his speed between 52 and 53 knots until the last leg. By the end of the run the wind drops and water entering into the channel from the surrounding creeks and rivers slows him down.
Despite lower than expected 35 knot wind and choppy water, 3 riders achieved speeds of over 50 knots today. Catman, Rob Douglas and Sed Salerno all did it in less wind that was previously required. Zsolt Lenkei improved on his personal best from 39,75 to 42. As the wind was increasing, the tide was too high to go on.
Sophie Routaboul got close to female world record today (45 flashed on the display), in spite of breaking her hand only a week ago.
The above speeds are not official yet.
As expected, the wind was great when it finally got going (35-43), but the water level was too low by this time. The strip had to be closed as the WRSSC deemed it to be too shallow.
Here is a picture taken @ the time the wind was offering record breaking conditions. Too bad the tide wasn’t favorable this time around!
Nonetheless, the new speed strip proved to be a winner – with 4 new National records being set:
Rob Douglas – USA, 52.58 knots
Taro Niehaus – South Africa, 50.62 knots
Marc Avella – Spain, 48.55 knots
Jernej Privsek – Slovenia, 46.22 knots.
These records have not yet been officiated by the WSSRC – we are waiting for them to be officialised.
The wind will now take a break until later next week, so it’s time to tune equipment and get ready for the next blow. It’s moving back to spring tides from tomorrow, so let’s hope it blows before spring highs wreck our track again. The course maintenance cannot keep up during this period, but at least we won’t have water depth issues.