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US sailor - Fastest man alive…Again

by David Schmidt,Sail-World USA Editor on 29 Oct 2010
Two years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing kiteboarder Robert Douglas, a Martha’s Vineyard native, after he became the fastest man alive on a kiteboard. Shortly thereafter, French rider Alex Caizergues broke Douglas’ record by a mere 0.3 knots. Flash forward a year and history repeated itself, to a tenth of a knot, as Caizergues once again trumped Douglas…by a mere 0.3 knots.

Imagine my happy smile today when I received a text from Douglas, all the way from Namibia, where he is participating in the 2010 Luderitz Speed Challenge.

Just a few weeks ago Caizergues set a new outright speed record of 54.1 knots, but today—thanks to 45-knot winds combing 'the Trench'—Douglas has reclaimed his crown after clocking in at a mind-numbing 55.65 knots.



While this has yet to be ratified by the WSSRC, the more interesting question remains: with this year’s event wrapping up on Halloween, will Caizergues somehow pull a juggernaut move and again usurp Douglas’ record?

Meanwhile, the calculators have been put away and the corrected-time winners of the Rolex Middle Sea Race have been established. Hats off to Bryon Ehrhart’s TP52 team Lucky (USA) for taking top honors in the IRC Overall.

In the Velux 5 Oceans Race, it’s quickly becoming obvious that the real action is between Brad Van Liew, the current leader, and Polish skipper Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski. Currently, Van Liew and Gutek are leading the rest of the fleet by several hundred miles as the fleet approaches the equator.

Next up is the start of the Route du Rhum, which starts on October 31 at 1302 hours off of Saint Malo, France. Eighty-seven boats are currently registered, and, given the race’s reputation as a boat eater, it will be interesting to watch this solo transatlantic sprint to Pointe à Pitre (in the Lesser Antilles) play out.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

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