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Luderitz Speed Challenge: Unofficial World Speed Sailing record set

by Sail-World.com/nz 18 Nov 12:46 PST 19 November 2019
Luderitz Speed Challenge, Luderitz, Namibia - November 2019 © Luderitz Speed Challenge

The Luderitz Speed Challenge is currently underway in Luderitz, Namibia, the worlds fastest sailing racecourse.

Held over an 800metre course, the event attempts to set a speed record, recognised by World Speed Sailing Record Council, over a 500metre distance.

The current official record for a windsurfer was set by Antoine Albeau (FRA) in 2015 of 53.27kts. Belgian Vincent Valkenaers hit 53.25kts yesterday - a mere 0.02kts short of the world record, but overnight the Belgian set a new unofficial speed measuring 53.33 knots average on the 500metre course.

The area is chosen as the course lies at 140degrees to the prevailing winds which can hit over 60kts. Today it is recorded at 66.4kts. Competitors take off in a start-up area before tuning into the speed run.

Here's some coverage from today's run and earlier in the week - with a couple of competitors hitting over 51kts on camera, and looking to break the current speed record set by Rob Douglas (USA) in 2010 over the same course of 55.65kts on a kiteboard.

America's Cup AC75's are expected and SailGP's F50's are expected to hit into the low 50's but that is only in a burst - not averaged over a 500metre course.

Apologies for some of the audio - but as the commentator points out - he is having trouble standing upright in the Namibian breeze.

The third and fourth videos are from a week ago - but is the best footage, including on-board video.

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