The 2008 Luderitz Speed Challenge, the PKRA Speed Final event in the same time, came to an end today with the official closing ceremony at the Nest Hotel.
Big thinks have been achieved in the last four weeks, with the first man going over 50 knots and the old outright sailing record smashed several times.
Already from the beginning, everybody was on fire when American Rob Douglas broke Antoine Albeaus (FRA, Starboard) outright record the first time on the 19th of September with a blistering run of 49.84 knots, as well as Sjoukje Bredenkamp claiming a new womens record at 45,2 knots.
In course of time, the fastest speeds constantly changed between the top contenders Alex Caizergues, Sebastien Cattelan (all France) and Rob Douglas. Powered up as well Chris Prin-Guenon (FRA) and Hennie Bredenkamp (RSA).
Improving the racing course from day to day with sandbags and wooden barriers to stop the chop from the river outlets, the speeds improved as well. After two weeks of competition, 49 knots was nothing special anymore and it was only a question of time until the 50 would fall.
On the third of October, speeds increased and conditions became hectic. Finally, Sebastien Cattelan was the first man over 50 knots, with 50.26 in the end the magical barrier was finally broken.
With the arrival of Charlotte Consorti (FRA) the womens competition became more thrilling, and with a best speed of 44.74 knots she missed Sjoukjes best speed from the beginning of the event only closely.
The fourth of October saw racing action again, and this time it was Alex Caizergues who snatched victory with a new outright world record (subject to WSSRC ratification) of 50.57 knots
The last two days of competition saw hauling winds again, and Rob Douglas and Sebastien Cattelan took another shot at the record, but missed Alex' best speed by only 1/100 (Rob Douglas) and 2/100 (Sebastien Cattelan) of a second. At Alex record speed of 50.57 knots this means only 26cm difference on a 501m long speedstrip between the top three contenders. Final Event Ranking Man:
1. Alexandre Caizergues, FRA
2. Sebastien Cattelan, FRA
3. Robert Douglas, USA
4. Christophe Prin-Guenon, FRA
5. Jerome Bila,FRA Final Event Ranking Women:
1. Sjoukje Bredenkamp, RSA
2. Charlotte Consorti, FRA
3. Katja Roose, NED Records broken on this event (all subject to WSSRC ratification):
Alexandre Caizergues, French and World Outright: 50.57 knots
Robert Douglas, US Outright: 50.54 knots
Grant Ross, South African Outright: 58.79 knots
Rolf van der Vlugt, Dutch Outrigh: 47.46 knots
Sjoukje Bredenkamp, South African and World Outright Women: 45,20 knots
Juergen Geiger, Namibian Outright: 44.90 knots
David Williams, British Outright: 44.78 knots
Charlotte Consorti, French Outright Women: 44.74 knots
Bjorn Dunkerbeck, Spanish Outright: 44.74 knots
Jernej Privsek, Slovenian Outright: 43.42 knots
Marc Avela, Spanish Kiteboarding: 42.76 knots
Christian Barret, Belgium Outright: 40.87 knots
Katja Roose, Dutch Outright Women: 39.58 knots
Jemma Grobbelaar, British Outright Women: 31.18 knots
Full results, pictures, interviews and videos can be found at the official event website www.luderitz-speed.com