British Channel

Local kitesurfing enthusiasts, Ashley Overton and Rob Ward have announced that they will be attempting to kitesurf across the British Channel in record time to raise money for Hampshire based charity, Champion Behaviours.

Champion Behaviours is a non profit organisation set up to deliver motivational workshops and programmes to young people aged between 12-15 years old, who are in danger of exclusion from school and society. The organisation works tirelessly with local communities to ensure young people feel a sense of belonging, rather than creating their own groups and rules that can cause problems in society.

Ashley, who is also New Boat Sales Director at Ancasta International Boat Sales, has always had a passion for the sea. Already a keen sailor, he took up kitesurfing five years ago with the ultimate goal of speed racing across the channel in mind.

37 year old Rob is a dedicated adventurer and has completed previous windsurfing, cycling and walking challenges for a number of charities. Rob has been kiting for four years.

The challenge is due to take place in May 2009 with the hope of raising in excess of £20,000 for Champion Behaviours. In order to break the current record, Ashley and Rob will be setting sail from Hythe in Kent, and will aim to endure the tough 25 mile crossing across the busiest shipping lane in the world to reach the French shores of Wissant in under two and a half hours. They will then turn around and return straight to Hythe, to become the first ever people to achieve a double crossing of this kind.

Ashley and Rob will be using a quiver of 10m2 to 18m2 square kites from pro specialists, North and Slingshot Kites. These kites have an average speed of 15 knots and a maximum speed of 25 to 30 knots. In order to break the current world record, they will need to battle against strong winds and large waves, travelling at a consistent speed of ten knots, on boards weighing just 6kgs.  Top speeds will need to be maintained at all times in order to allow for potential gear failure and kite changes en route.

Ashley says, “This entire project is about pushing the boundaries, setting targets which are out of comfortable reach - the distance, the records to beat, the fitness levels required and financial targets for the charity. This will be a great challenge for keeping me focused for 2009.”

Rob agrees, “The Cross channel challenge absolutely hits the spot for me! It combines both my passions for kitesurfing and adventure in a perfect way. This is a challenge that I am totally committed to and I will do whatever I can to ensure it’s a success.”

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Starkites is delighted to announce the launch of the ExA'09- our new line of performance kites that will blow your mind... Progressive kiters have a new hero!

The ExA combines the feeling and manoeuvrability of a C-shape kite with the wind range of a flat kite for freestyle riders ready to push the limits.

Taking advantage of all the latest technical innovations in the kiting industry, as well as our own very dedicated research and development, the ExA has been created tough and technical for unrivalled performance.

The special bi- and tri-radial hybrid structure generates and transmits the maximum possible power with the available wind. The ExA helps you get the reaction rate and control that has been developed specifically with freestyle riders in mind.

The ExA is Starkites new line of performance kites, designed to combine the feeling and manoeuvrability of a C-shape kite with the wind range of a flat kite for freestyle riders ready to push the limits.
Taking advantage of all the latest technical innovations in the kitting industry, the ExA has been developed tough and technical for unrivalled performance.

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Macquarie Speed Sailing Team

SeaSailSurf reports that MI has scored a 48.5 knots run on the last day of its 56 day record attempt period.

In only 17 knot winds, their Lindsay Cunningham designed craft, Macquarie Innovation, was timed over the 500m qualifying course at 48.57 knots and recorded speeds in excess of 51 knots during the 20 second run.

It is expected that the final ratified speed will be reduced to 48.15 knots due to tidal influences experienced on the course.

On the final day of their allotted 56 day record attempt period, the Macquarie Speed Sailing Team was presented with the first real opportunity to tackle the type of conditions in which their boat was designed to perform.

The 17 knot wind was some five knots less than the team had hoped to be able to operate in, but was enough to power the extraordinary craft down the course in record breaking time.

Macquarie Innovation is designed and constructed in Melbourne and is an all Australian venture.

The 15 person team were located at Sandy Point, near Victoria’s Wilson’s Promontory, where the best natural venue for speed sailing in the world is situated in a sheltered coastal lagoon.

This performance represents not only the fastest speed ever recorded by a sailing boat, but also the most efficient use of wind energy by any craft competing for the World Sailing Speed Record.

Capable of sustaining speeds in excess of three times that of the wind powering it, Macquarie Innovation showcases an Australian project that is leading the world in sail powered performance, efficiency and design technology.

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