Steve Thorp: torpedo

Steve Thorp has successfully hit the 50-knot barrier, at West Kirby, a windsurfing speed spot located in the United Kingdom. "It was an amazing day for speedsailing which attracted sailors from all over the UK and Europe including Martin Van Muers, Hans Kreisel and Jacques van der Hout", says Thorp.

With 60-knot wind gusts, the conditions were simply great. "The wind was blowing from first thing and was predicted to increase through the day. I broke the golden rule in speedsailing of not believing this and spent the first couple of hours taking pictures only to see the conditions get slower for most of the day".

"Luckily things started to get interesting again and we enjoyed some really fast runs. About half an hour before dark it really started to go crazy as the sky went stormy and gusts of 60 knots came through. Most sailors were too tired from a full day of sailing to take this on, so there were only 3 or 4 of us who stayed out until dark", adds Steve.

Meanwhile, the wind had swung to a very broad direction and as soon as they hit top speed, they were into huge rolling chop. There was no way of getting a 10-second run in before exploding or sheeting out.

"I actually found the wind quite easy to deal with on the 5m SCR and only wiped out once, when my fin left the water and I bailed! My second from last run was the fastest and I was pretty blown away to see 50.01 knots on the dial. A dream come true! The extreme conditions are shown by my low 10 second time of 44.4, and 2 second max of 48.3 on the same run".

Intense, indeed. Steve Thorp enters the list of the fastest speed marks of 2011.