The Luderitz Speed Challenge ends with l'Hydroptère record unbroken

November 30, 2009 | Kiteboarding
2009 Luderitz Speed Challenge

The last day of racing saw Rob Douglas hit just over 50 knots, with his brother Jamie close behind with an excellent 48.67 (both on Cabrinha kites), and Alex Caizergues (F-One) again in the top three with 48.55.

Charlotte Consorti (F-One) had another very good day with a top speed of 43.07 knots, and Melissa Gil (Cabrinha) marginally upped her US outright women’s record to 38.00 knots.

It was a great event for the North American Speed Sailing Project, the organization set up by Rob Douglas to “bring the records home to America”, with Rob and Melissa both taking home a new record, and Jamie Douglas hitting world-class speeds, despite being new to the sport.

This will be a team to watch in the future.

The French, however, dominated as usual, with Alex Caizergues, Sebastien Cattelan, and Christophe Prin-Guenon dominating the rankings, and a slew of their compatriots regularly getting 45+ knot results.

The South African contingent made a strong showing but didn’t achieve the results of last year. They will be back.

Competitors are now stretching out tired muscles, attending to bruises and sprains, and packing their gear, tired but happy after spending so many weeks chasing the records.

This year's Lüderitz Speed Challenge saw better equipment and improved technique allow sailors to push the limits further, and get faster speeds in lighter wind. The record of French sailboat l’Hydroptère still stands unbroken at 51.36 knots.

Given a few knots more wind in Lüderitz, this record would surely have fallen, but this is the great drama of speed sailing – it is skill, talent, equipment, technique, bravery… and a great deal of luck with the conditions of water and wind.

This year’s Lüderitz Speed Challenge saw a number of new kite speed and outright national records (these are all official, but still to be ratified by the WSSRC).

2009 Luderitz Speed Challenge Records
Alex Caizergues (F-One) – World kiteboard speed record: 50.98 knots
Rob Douglas (Cabrinha) – USA outright speed sailing record: 50.95knots
Jernej Privsek (Jägermeister) – Slovenian outright speed sailing record: 44.59 knots
Felipe Johannpeter (Genetrix) – Brazil outright speed record: 42.14 knots
Melissa Gil (Cabrinha) – USA woman’s national speed record: 38.00 knots

All Results for 2009 Luderitz Speed Challenge
Speed (knots) Speed (kph) Name Nationality
50.98 94.41 Alex Caizergues France
50.95 94.36 Robert Douglas USA
49.51 91.69 Sebastien Cattelan France
48.67 90.14 James Douglas USA
48.44 89.71 Chris Prin-Guenon France
47.73 88.40 Jerome Bila France
47.72 88.38 Sylvain Hoceini France
47.19 87.40 Taro Niehaus South Africa
46.85 86.77 Manu Taub France
46.71 86.51 Mike Hall USA
46.46 86.04 Marc Antoine Martin France
46.11 85.40 Geoffrey Mascarell France
45.89 84.99 Stephane Caous France
45.8 84.82 Patrice Menossi France
44.78 82.93 Hennie Bredenkamp South Africa
44.62 82.64 Fred Kloren Netherlands
44.59 82.58 Jernej Privsek Slovenia
44.27 81.99 Charlotte Consorti France
43.26 80.12 Sjouke Bredenkamp South Africa
42.14 78.04 Felipe Johannpeter Brazil
41.37 76.62 Marc Avela Spain
41 75.93 Maxime Richard France
40.21 74.47 Stefan Metzger Namibia
39.29 72.77 Sophie Routaboul France
39.14 72.49 Basil Cambanis South Africa
38.52 71.34 WolFRANCEm Reiners South Africa
38.19 70.73 Paul Railton South Africa
38 70.38 Melissa Gil USA
36.02 66.71 Ronan Harvey Great Britain
33.94 62.86 Tim Turner Australia
33.77 62.54 Peter Bjarke Olsen Denmark

* Subject to WSSRC final ratification