International Sailing Federation ratifies Alexandre Caizergues' kite speed record

December 9, 2008 | Kiteboarding

Alexandre Caizergues

The Outright World Sailing Speed Record of 50.57 knots set by French kiteboarder Alexandre CAIZERGUES this October has been ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC).

The WSSRC, the International Authority recognized by ISAF for ratifying World Sailing Speed Records, has confirmed that kiteboarders are eligible to hold the Outright World Sailing Speed Record.

As a consequence of this decision, Alexandre CAIZERGUES (FRA) is now the holder of the Outright World Sailing Speed Record following his record-breaking run at the Luderitz speed strip in Namibia on 4 October 2008.

CAIZERGUES, onboard a Fone Prototype Speed board with a Fone Bandit Dos Speed 7sq m kite, covered the 500 metre course in just 19.22 seconds, an average speed of 50.57 knots and therefore a new Outright World Sailing Speed Record.

A day before CAIZERGUES set the current record, Sebastien CATTELAN (FRA) became the first sailor to break the 50-knot barrier, recording a run at 50.26 knots, which remained the Outright Sailing Speed Record for just 24 hours.

ISAF President Göran PETERSSON (SWE) said, “The International Sailing Federation was delighted to welcome kiteboarding to the ISAF family at our recent meeting in November, when we approved the International Kiteboarding Association for full ISAF International Class status.

The ISAF Executive Committee fully supports the WSSRC’s position that kiteboards should be eligible to hold the Outright World Sailing Speed Record. Congratulations to the kiteboarders in Namibia for their fantastic achievements; no doubt they will continue to amaze us in the future and I look forward to watching this exciting new part of the ISAF family grow in the years to come.”

A previous policy established in 2005 had meant that kiteboarders were not eligible to hold the Outright World Sailing Speed Record. However, the WSSRC was unanimous in its wish to remove this policy. The ISAF Executive Committee has confirmed its support for the WSSRC’s position.

In particular, the WSSRC noted the following points in their recommendation to the Executive Committee:

- Kite-boarders comply in all respects with the WSSR rules and in particular with WSSR rule 9 “A yacht shall sail by using only the wind and water to increase, maintain or decrease her speed”.
- In common with many other sports, a linear method of speed recording i.e. the time taken to travel between wo points 500 metres apart, has always been adopted. The WSSRC does not try to measure, define, or give credit for instantaneous speed or speeds calculated on a curved course. The recording of time is taken from the same point of the board at both start and finish.
- The so-called slingshot effect can produce an increased instantaneous speed, but only over a short distance and in a curved trajectory. Following this slingshot effect, speed decreases considerably and whilst a high speed for a short distance may have been achieved, the average over the full course is unaffected.
- There can be no stored energy as all the competing craft consists of is a small board, some strings and sailcloth.
- Concerning the belief that kite boards may not maintain contact with the water during an attempt, the fact is that the kiteboard had to remain waterborne in order to maintain speed. There is loss of power and speed immediately the board loses water contact.

The Outright World Sailing Speed Record previously stood at 49.09 knots, set by windsurfer Antoine ALBEAU (FRA) at the speed canal in Saintes Maries de la Mer, France during March 2008.

Kiteboarder Robert DOUGLAS (USA) improved this record to 49.84 knots in Namibia in September 2008. The record breaking 50 knot plus runs recorded by CATTELAN and CAIZERGUES followed in October.

Record: Outright World Sailing Speed Record

Equipment: Kitesurfer. Fone Prototype Speed. Fone Bandit Dos Speed 7sq m kite
Name: Alexandre CAIZERGUES (FRA)
Dates: 4 October 2008
Start time: 15:35:00.84
Finish time: 15:35:20.06
Elapsed time: 19.22 seconds
Distance: 501 metres
Current: 0.1 knot
Average speed: 50.57 knots
Venue: Luderitz, Namibia

Previous record: 2008. Sebastien Cattelan. 50.26 knots uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more on our About section.