On 28 of October, Sebastien Cattelan was the first person to reach a speed of over 55 knots average over 500m with a Genetrix Hydra 9 meter kite and an Xcelerator board.
There are only 8 days left to break a new world speed record. With the right conditions of wind and tide, the kitesurfers are sure to exceed the speeds of last week. The wind should gradually increase to 35-40 knts, being the strongest at the beginning of next week. Hoping they will get more!!
The speed the competitors could achieve yesterday was limited due to choppy water and lighter 30 knot wind. As it is spring high tide, the water came up quickly making the run usable only between 12:30am-1:30pm. It will be hard for all competitors to have a go at the run when the conditions are optimum for that day. It’s going to be a stampeed for the start since no one will want to miss the magical wind and tide window. In the next few days, as the high tide moves later towards the end of the afternoon, keep an eye out for some crazy performance in Luderitz.
A few pictures from Adrien Fréville photographie
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.
Alex Caizergues has officially set a new World Speed Sailing Record at 54.10 knots during his 1st run at 15h38 yesterday afternoon.
5 New National records were broken on the same day:
Sebastien Cattelan (France) 52.33 (2nd fastest outright)
Rob Douglas (USA) 51.88 (National Record)
Gavin Broadbent (New Zealand) 50.93 (National Record)
Sebastien Salerno (France) 50,75
Tim Pumpa (Australia) 46.78 (National Record)
Charlotte Consorti (France) 45.23 (French Womens National record)
Anders Bringdal (Sweden) 44.80 (National Record)
Zara Davis (UK) 36.99 (Female World performance with Production Board)
The battle for the title of “the fastest speed sailor in the world” is far from over, with more big winds forecast in Luderitz for not only this week, but for most of October !
F@!#! i wish i was there !!!!
Sebastien “Catman” Cattelan, the organizer of Luderitz Speed Challenge and also the first to break the 50 knot barrier, has been working long hours to improve the channel, thereby increasing the average speed over the 500m course. In the previous 2 years, the competitors had to change their angle to the wind three times during the speed run. The first angle was the slowest, creating a gap of 10 knots between the riders’ slowest speed and their fastest at the end of the run. With the new run (see photo) they can hope to diminish this gap by half. The only downside is that it doesn’t leave them with much room to stop… Catman’s solution: simply kiteloop at the end of the run, slowing your speed down and sending you downwind as opposed to turning upwind. This would also leave the end of the run free for the next rider.
No racing on day 1. The wind was north and light, coming from the desert. Looks like the forecast calls for strong gales on Monday and Tuesday. 45/55 knot gusts. New records could be set. Friday and Saturday wind in the 30 knot range