Alexandre Caizergues 

The Lüderitz Speed Challenge saw Sebastien Cattelan of France become the first human being to sail at more than 50 knots (93kph) – a world record he held for only 24 hours before compatriot Alexandre Caizergues snatched it away with not one but three runs over 50 knots – reaching a top speed of 50.57 knots (93.65kph).

•    Alexandre Caizergues (France) – new outright world speed sailing record of 50.57 knots
(F-One, Ouest Provence, Volkswagen Utilitaires, ION, Placide)

•    New outright Netherlands speed sailing record: Rolf van der Vlugt 45.99 knots (Airush, Mystic, Protest, TUDelft, X-tremeboards)

•    New outright UK speed sailing record: David Williams 44.78 knots
(Best Kiteboarding, Dead Man clothing, KMS)

•    New outright France women’s speed sailing record: Charlotte Consorti 43.53 knots (F-One, Nike, Maui Magic, Baracuda, Weleda)

•    New outright Slovenia speed sailing record: Jernej Privsek 41.97 knots
(Jägermeister, Cocta, Kitesfera, Garmin)

•    New outright Belgium speed sailing record: Christian Baret 40.87 knots
(Summerwood Guesthouse)

•    New outright Netherlands women’s speed sailing record: Katja Roose 37.18 knots (Protest, Maui Magic, Airush)

•    New UK women’s kitesurf record: Jemma Grobbelaar 35.61 knots (Flexifoil, Xelerator, Dakine, Arnette, Derevko, Cti, Lizzy, Island Tribe)

These speeds are verified, but are still subject to ratification by the WSSRC.

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Luderitz Speed Challenge

The weather system that brings the nuclear 40+ knot winds to the second lagoon in Lüderitz, Namibia, is building. Moderate winds are expected today, building on Friday and peaking on Saturday, with tides at the right level for many hours of competition speed sailing.

The speed sailors are starting to get edgy with anticipation, because with the lessons learned from the first Big Weekend over the 16th to the 19th September, plus good or better wind conditions, plus some redesign work on the chop killer, expectations are high for even more records, especially to best the 50 knot barrier.

Says Rob Douglas (USA – Cabrina, Amundsen, Dakine, The Black Dog, Lynch), current event leader and outright world record holder at 49.84 knots (92.3kph), “We been testing a couple of things today, tomorrow and Saturday we get ready for the fifty.” Douglas and his coach Mike Gebhardt travelled to South Africa’s Mother City for a few days to repair boards and build some new ones. “We’ve got some new boards to test that we built with Cape Doctor in Cape Town, where we are experimenting with ABS construction. We also have some new boards by Cabrinha, who sent some prototypes.”

Frenchman Sebastien Cattelan (Genetrix, Xelerator, Prolimit, Ocean Eyewear, Dabens), currently running in second place, declares: “Maybe we get fifty tomorrow, the day after it’s even stronger. For sure a page of history will be turned.” New Dutch contender, Rolf van der Vlugt (Airush, Mystic, Protest, TUDelft, X-tremeboards), is also upbeat about the conditions: “It’s going to be good. Today we warm up, Friday we warm up a little bit more, Saturday we’re smoking.”

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Kite accident in Israel

A 23-year old youth was killed Tuesday afternoon while kite-surfing in Sdot Yam, a kibbutz located near Caesarea. He was seriously injured when the wind dragged him into the roof of a nearby house. A Magen David Adom (MDA) team evacuated him to a nearby hospital, where he later died of his wounds.

The youth was kite-surfing with his friends when a strong gust of wind dragged him 150 meters inland and threw him against a kibbutz house. He remained aloft, hanging by his parachute, until his friends detached him and brought him down.

Matan Yodfat, a paramedic who arrived on the scene, described the incident to Ynet: "We found the youth injured on the ground near the building. He was unconscious, and suffering from head, chest, and stomach injuries. We resuscitated him and then evacuated him to the hospital in critical condition."

The youth later died of massive injuries while hospitalized in Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera.

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