Antoine Albeau has set a new outright sailing speed record of 49.09 knots on the canal in Saintes Maries de la Mer, France, subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC).
After months of waiting for the big mistral winds, the speed canal on the shores of the Mediterranean sea came to life again. Strong mistral winds with 45-50 knots hit the speed strip at a perfect angle, and although the conditions were quite gusty several riders set personal best speeds.
Early on the first runs of the "big three" Antoine Albeau (FRA), Patrik Diethelm (ITA) and defending world record holder Finian Maynard (IVB) showed, that this day would have the potential to become historic.
At 09:30 Diethelm was the first one making waves, setting a new world production speed record with his F2 Missile XS at 46.51 knots, subject to World Sailing Speed Recorcd Council (WSSRC) ratification.
Around noon, 12:29 hours exactly, Frenchman Antoine Albeau hit a big gust and flew down the 1 km manmade canal. The scoreboard stopped at 49 knots, after extensive video checking with the observer from the WSSRC, the speed was verified at 49.09 knots, 0.4 knots faster than the old record of Maynard.
The riders then pushed for the elusive 50 knots mark, the magical barrier in speedsailing around the world, but by the end of the day no one was able to increase the previous performances.
The Record To Beat:
Record: Outright speed record
Skipper: Finian Maynard (IVB)
Speed: 48.70 knots