Salin-de-Giraud is the new capital of speed sailing

November 20, 2013 | Kiteboarding
Salin-de-Giraud: Mistral wind doing its job

It's been considered France's brand new nautical arena. Salin-de-Giraud, located in the Bouches-du-Rhône region, is the new capital of European speed sailing.

The kiteboard and windsurf spot gets the best out of the strong, cold, and usually dry regional Mistral wind currents that affect the Mediterranean coasts.

It's one of the most famous winds in the world.

"We found the spot using Google Earth," explains Alex Caizergues, the world's fastest kiteboard.

"As is always the case with this type of speed attempt, it had to be well-positioned in relation to the strong Mistral in our region."

"We've set our heart on a lake situated on one of Groupe Salins' production sites in Salin-de-Giraud, which is an important site for salt production in Europe."

"We managed to come to an agreement, and very quickly, we began work to firm up the banks of this 800-meter stretch of water, which is some 10 meters wide."

And so the "Salt and Speed" event was born in 2012.

Caizergues and Rob Douglas were the first sailors to test it, with very good results in the inaugural edition.

One year later, on November 11, 2013, the French rider set the world sailing speed kitesurfing record, with a blinding average of 56.62 knots over 500 meters.

The quiet town of Salin-de-Giraud, which stands only one hour and a half away from the Marseille and Montpellier airports, is preparing to be the next big thing in speed sailing, rivaling with Luderitz, the Namibian wind capital.