Outright World Speed Sailing Record to Rob Douglas

Luderitz Speed Challenge

With a run of 49.84 knots, American kitesurfer Rob Douglas beat the outright World Speed Sailing Record over 500 metres today at the speed strip at Luderitz in Namibia. Frenchman Sebastien Cattelan reached 49.59 knots, also a great performance, to record the second fastest speed of all time.

The 'Luderitz Speed Challenge' has kicked off with a set of impressive performances, with the riders still having 25 days left to better the mythical 50 knots barrier. And why not?

The 'Luderitz Speed Challenge' reached escape velocity today in Namibia as Rob Douglas smashed the record of Antoine Albeau (49.09 knots) with a run timed at 49.84 knots. Rob Douglas, 37, a former windsurfer who started kitesurfing in June, blew it away in Namibia. He had already beaten the previous US record earlier this week.

Sebastian Cattelan, alias 'Catman', was not far off the pace. The Toulouse-born Frenchman, living in South Africa and an organiser of the event with Fred Dasse, clocked a run at 49.59 knots. He was initially credited with an unratified speed of 50.10 knots, but this speed was revised down by the WSSRC Commissioner after careful examination of timing data.

These two kitesurfers are definitely on the road towards the 50 knot challenge!

A record never falls alone, and several other great performances were established during today. Sjoukje Bredenkamp (South Africa) improved her existing world record with a speed of 45.20 knots: a new Women’s Outright World Record over 500 metres. The young South African has set the bar very high. Hennie Bredenkamp takes the African outright record with 47.59 knots, while David Williams and Jurgen Geiger respectively clocked at 43.32 and 44.90 knots to take the British Kitesurf record and the Outright Namibian record.

Luderitz Speed Challenge
Performances of the day:
Day 4 – 19 Sept (WSSRC ratified)
Rob Douglas 49.84
Sebastian Cattelan 49.59
Alex Caizergues 48.69
Sjoukje Bredenkamp 45.20 (new women’s record)
Hennie Bredenkamp 47.59 (new Africa record)
David Williams 43.32 (new UK kite record)
Jurgen Geiger 44.90 (new Namibia record)

Some figures
49.84 knots Rob Douglas (USA): new outright world speed sailing record over 500 metres.
49.59 knots: Second fastest speed of all time for Sebastian Cattelan
49.09 knots: Outright world speed sailing record by French windsurfer Antoine Albeau in March 2008 in the 'trench' of Saintes-Maries de la Mer
48.70 knots: Outright world speed sailing record on 10 April 2005 by windsurfer Finian Maynard in the 'trench' of Saintes-marie de la Mer
47.92 knots: Kitesurf world speed record in Luderitz by Alexandre Caizergues in 2007
46.82 knots: Outright world speed record by Finian Maynard in Autumn 2004, ending several years of domination by sailboat, Yellow Pages
46.52 knots: Outright world speed sailing record set by sailboat, Yellow Pages Endeavour, on 26 october 1993 at Sandy Point in Australia
1986: Pascal MAKA is the first windsurfer to establish a new world record with 38.86 knots.

Luderitz Speed Challenge