Please select your home edition
Edition
Fever-Tree 728x90

Latest bid launched for outright World Speed Sailing record

by Tanguy Blondel on 4 Dec 2012
Salt and Speed sunset © AQUATERRA / Beneteau Gregory http://www.aqua-terra.info
The latest bid for the outright World Speed Sailing record has been launched. Since Wednesday the French and American kiteboarders, Alex Caizergues and Rob Douglas, have been performing a series of 500-metre runs in the 'Volkswagen Transporter Arena', a surf spot situated at the heart of the Salins du Midi in France’s Camargue. Rob Douglas, the current holder of the World kitesurf speed record (55.65 knots achieved in 2010), second of all the categories behind Paul Larsen’s Sailrocket 2, has so far pulled off a timed sprint of 53.40. Alex Caizergues, the first man to exceed 100km/hr (54.10 knots in 2010), has achieved 52.45 knots.

This is excellent news because it means that the Franco-American duo, among the top speed kitesurfers on the planet, have over recent days validated the brand new spot in Salin-de-Giraud. Along this 800-metre long trench, spanning some 10 metres in width and perfectly angled in relation to the north-westly to northerly Mistral, the riders are able to go very, very fast. 'We weren’t in optimum conditions last Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Sunday,' explains Alex Caizergues, the project’s initiator together with his father, Philippe, who’s also a speed kitesurfing buff. 'The water was a little too high and the wind angle wasn’t entirely favourable for propelling our machines along at speed'. Added to that it was cold and rain coloured proceedings on Wednesday making conditions particularly extreme.

'It was like being on the moon' smiles Christophe Simian, an enlightened observer from the venerable WSSRC, the world speed record regulator. It was reminiscent of the ends of the earth given how wild and hostile the environment is for man. The strapping Rob Douglas didn’t look too impressed as he alternated between solo power runs and rides, clearing his mind as he says and doubtless running through the different scenarios, Morgan, his younger brother keeping an eye out! 'The wind is stronger than in Namibia, where we’ve been performing over recent years. It can easily pick up to 50 knots. I am impressed by the site. I don’t think it’ll be a problem to beat the outright world kitesurfing record, which I currently hold. As regards the outright World Speed Sailing record, recently set by Sailrocket, that’ll take time but we’ll get there. That’s all part and parcel of the history behind these records and that’s why it’s so rich'.

In any case, the numerous 'Salt and Speed' volunteers, perched along the banks of the 'Volkswagen Transporter Arena' are ready for anything to help Alex and Rob reach for the stars in the speed world.

Alert: Rob Douglas and Alex Caizergues will be in action on Saturday. A strong Mistral is expected at the site…

Reminder: the first act of 'Salt and Speed' will continue until 14 December 2012.

Alexandre Caizergues: Born on 14 March 1979

3 x World Speed Champion (2007, 2008, 2009)
2 x World Speed Record all categories combined in 2008 and 2010
2 x World Kite Speed Record in 2007 and 2009
2 x FFVL (French Free Flight Federation) French Speed Champion
European Long Distance Number Two 2008
World Speed Number Two 2006

1st man to break 100 km/hr on the water, propelled by the wind

Partners: Ouest Provence – AlpEnergie par GDF SUEZ - Volkswagen Véhicules Utilitaires (Commercial Vehicles) – Zenith – Orange.


Rob Douglas: Born on 16 June 1971

World Speed Record all categories combined in 2011 with 55.65 knots and 49.84 knots in 2008.

World Speed Champion 2012

Partners: The Black Dog - Cabrinha - Lynch Associates - NPX - Dakine - Curtis Fins- Mike's Lab custom boards


In figures:

65.45 knots: SailRocket 2 24 November 2012 in Namibia
59.23 knots: SailRocket 2 November 2012 (awaiting WSSRC approval)
55.65 knots: Rob Douglas 28 October 2010 Namibia
54.10 knots: Alexandre Caizergues 12 October 2010 Luderitz, Namibia exceeding 100km/hr
51.36 knots: Hydroptère on 6 September 2009
50.57 knots: Alexandre Caizergues 4 October 2008 Luderitz, Namibia
50.26 knots: Seb Cattelan 3 October 2008 Luderitz, Namibia
49.84 knots: Rob Douglas 19 September 2008 Luderitz, Namibia
49.09 knots: World Speed Record Antoine Albeau 5 March 2008 in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France
46.82 knots: Record set by windsurfer Finian Maynard in the autumn of 2004, bringing an end to the hegemony of the sailboat Yellow Pages in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France
46.52 knots: Yellow Pages Endeavour in 1993 at the Sandy Point spot, Australia
38.86 knots: Pascal MAKA the first windsurfer to rack up a new official record with 38.86 knots in Sotavento
26.30 knots: Crossbow Catamaran in Portland in 1972

NB: the outright World Sailing Speed Record is the best average speed over 500m by a sail-powered contraption… As such it is different to a peak Salt and Speed Facebook Page

RS Sailing 660x82Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82C-Tech

Related Articles

Countdown to Formula Kite Worlds in Oman reaches 100-day landmark
The final countdown has begun to the biggest date in kiteboarding calendar – Formula Kite World Championships in Oman. The final countdown has begun to the biggest date in the kiteboarding calendar – the Formula Kite World Championships in Oman.
Posted on 12 Aug
Adam Warchol, Takuma Sugi and Marino Gil book places in final
The first round of the 14-15 Year Old Boy's contest was completed in light winds and varying sized waves. The first round of the 14-15 Year Old Boy's contest was completed in light winds and varying sized waves. With not much wind, the contest was a pure wave riding test with the best two waves to count over a 14 minute duration.
Posted on 10 Aug
Kite Speed World Championship– Oman acclaimed as kiteboarding paradise
The event attracted some of the world’s best known kite boarders who gave the Masirah Beach Camp venue The event attracted some of the world’s best known kite boarders who gave the Masirah Beach Camp venue and ideal kiteboarding conditions in the flat and shallow lagoon an unconditional vote of approval.
Posted on 9 Aug
Peru Pacasmayo Classic - Registration open now!
Located in the North of Peru, Pacasmayo offers fun cross off wave riding. You will find light wind port tack conditions. Located in the North of Peru, Pacasmayo offers fun cross off wave riding. You will find light wind port tack conditions. Wave conditions are similar to Baja Mexico. A swell of 5-7ft on the wave face is not uncommon. You will have 10-15 turns per wave and a couple of aerials without crowds. Bigger South West swells offer rides over 1km where you can lose count of the number of turns you do!
Posted on 8 Aug
Manly Sailing Club to host 2019 O’pen BIC World Championships
Manly Sailing Club, in Auckland, New Zealand, has lodged a successful bid to host the 2019 O’pen BIC World Championships Manly Sailing Club, in Auckland, New Zealand, has lodged a successful bid to host the 2019 O’pen BIC World Championships, following a presentation by the club's newly elected Commodore, Sir Russell Coutts, at the recent International O’pen BIC Class Association AGM.
Posted on 8 Aug
Young Swede Adam Holm wins Kona World Championships
Adam secured the title after a thrilling battle with the runner-up Dutchman, who finished one point behind the Champion. The Championship took place on classical racing waters out of Båstad on the Swedish West Coast which has hosted numerous international and national sailing events over the years. The first race days took place in very light and shifty conditions putting lots of effort on the tactical skills of the sailors.
Posted on 7 Aug
Hydrofoil Pro Tour USA – Final day
Absolutely perfect racing conditions on the bay! The sun is out, the wind is up, and the racing is off the charts fast. Going into the day Nico Parlier, France, is pretty solidly taking the win based on points and amazing consistency. Axel Mazella, France, and Johnny Heineken, San Francisco, USA, are in a hot battle for second and third separated by just a couple points.
Posted on 7 Aug
Hydrofoil Pro Tour USA – Day 3
Now that we have over five heats of racing the dropouts start taking effect. There is battle brewing all over the field With yesterday being a wash, three heats are run before the 1:30pm skippers meeting for the Bay Challenge. The wind just started coming up with many on 15m kites.
Posted on 6 Aug
GKA Kite-Surf World Tour – Day 5 – Expression session
It’s been a solid week of pumping wind here in Sotavento and Friday's plan was to hold a Big-Air competition No heats, no scoring and no pressure - the riders were free to do as they pleased and many treated it as an opportunity to go for some new tricks that they might not normally attempt in a competitive heat.
Posted on 6 Aug
Hydrofoil Pro Tour - Day 2
Second day of racing for 2017 Hydrofoil Pro Tour in San Francisco, CA, USA at Crissy Field brought abnormal conditions Today, the second day of racing for the 2017 Hydrofoil Pro Tour in San Francisco, CA, USA at Crissy Field brought abnormal conditions. The skies are filled with clouds which shuts down the wind.
Posted on 6 Aug