Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

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

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Barz Optics - Kids rangeT Clewring AC72Schaefer 2016 660x82