- 16 November 2012 | Windsurfing
Anders Bringdal and Zara Davis have been shining high in the 2012 Luderitz Speed Challenge. The Swedish windsurfer is the first windsurfer to hit 50 knots and Zara Davis is the fastest female windsurfer in the world.
SurferToday.com got in touch with Bringdal and Davis, while speeding up in Namibia.
Anders, which sail and windsurf board did you use to reach the 50 knots?
AB: I was on my Production Mistral 41cm board shaped for us by Chris Lockwood, who obviously did a great job. The sail was the NP Evo 5,8m. The assy fin is a Gasoil, 20cm.
Zara, which sail and windsurf board did you use to set a new Female speed windsurfing record?
ZD: I was on the new Mistral speed 41, same as Anders. It was designed by Chris Lockwood in Australia, slightly longer shape giving fantastic control in the rolling chop. My sail was a stock 2012 5.5m Simmer SCR, this sail has a lot of twist in it for great control at speed.
How strong and from which direction was the wind blowing when you set your records?
AB: South East at around 35-40 knots.
ZD: South, South East at 35-to-40 knots, which gives us about 140 to 145 degrees to the wind on the course.
Did you feel you've hit the 50 knots, before checking the GPS?
AB: I knew it was a good run. Soft in the start, but very lit in the end. Good control, so great feeling.
Zara, do you feel you can get the best speed windsurfing record by beating the boys?
ZD: Women will always be slower than men. Windsurfing is a very physical sport and men are naturally stronger. Being 6-foot tall and 80 kg gives me an advantage, but the top guys are always 4-to-5 knots faster. It is nice though to "chick" a few on the way.
How do you tune your sail for better speed sailing results?
AB: Security first. Safe fin. No spin out. Sail trim to fly.
ZD: For me, it's about control. When I feel secure I can push my equipment to its limits and the speed comes naturally. I like a lot of twist in my sail and that allows it to breath in the gusts.
Do you think windsurfers will reach kiteboarders' speed records?
AB: Hard to say, but 50 knots is a good mark to have behind us. We now peak in the 52-53 knot range. Maybe we will see a lot more with 10-15 knots more wind.
Is Luderitz the best speed strip for windsurfing in the world?
AB: Yes, without a doubt.
ZD: For sure it's the fastest place I have sailed. Some spots in Europe have the potential, like the Brace in Holland and The Ray in Southend, UK, but they are reliant on low pressure from the Atlantic and are not as reliable as here.
What is your next goal in speed windsurfing?
ZD: My goal before I came to Luderitz was to break Karin Jaggi's women's record of 41.25 knots and then maybe 43 knots. I have now pushed that to 44.92, but on the biggest equipment I have brought with me. So, if we get more wind and I can get on my 5.0m or even my 4.6, then I am hoping to hit 46 plus.