Rob Douglas: the American star of speed sailing

The national speed sailing records keep falling in Luderitz, Namibia. Kiteboarders are still struggling to beat their personal best and their nation’s top score.

This time, the 2010 Luderitz Speed Challenge saw Afrit Foued setting a new Algerian speed record (38.48 knots) and Zsolt Lenkei establishing a new Hungarian speed record (35.34 knots).

These speeds are still to be verified by the WSSRC.

The next wind cycle has started, at Luderitz. Wind is blowing 25-33 knots and if the trend continues to be better that the initial forecast, new records may appear.

As the competition comes to a close, Monday will probably be the last best wind day for outstanding velocity.

UPDATE (26/10/10):

Zsolt Lenkei improved the Hungary record to 42.16.

Afrit Foued bettered his Algerian record to 39.81.

NASSP: they need a doctor in the team

North American Speed Sailing Project (NASSP) team members spent Thursday mostly in relaxation mode as light winds continued to plague the Luderitz region. Coach Gebi and Rick got some sailing in on their freeride equipment at the 2nd Lagoon on their 8 and 10 meter kites and twin tips.

Rob spent some time repairing his NPX wetsuit which suffered major blowout from a nasty over-the-sand wipeout a few days earlier. GPS readings showed Rob going down at over 50 knots in the speed trench.

Rick, an eye witness of the crash, saw Rob get dragged approximately 50 meters after impacting the leeward sandbank of the trench at over 52 knots, getting airborne and then hitting the sand.

Morgan’s hand is looking good but has not yet to been tested with full sailing hand pressure and complete sea water immersion. That should take place today as Jamie, Bill and Morgan hope to record their first official speeds of this year’s contest. Friday’s winds look to be just strong enough to run the trench.

Updated weather forecasts have wind returning for Friday thru Monday with possible record conditions during the period. Long range forecasts are sensing possible strong pressure for next weekend, the last few days of the Luderitz Speed Challenge 2010.

The Best Odyssey: can you imagine yourself in there? | Photo: Jody MacDonald

Imagine you're going to travel five years searching for the perfect kitesurfing session in a paradise island, in the middle of nowhere.

It's not a dream, it’s reality. Well, at least for the carefully chosen water men and women that have already surfed 132 kite spots of 39 countries.

The Best Odyssey is more than a kiteboarding expedition. It is an unbelievable life experience. The crew of kiteboarders has already travelled 40.000 miles in a Lagoon 570 catamaran, through the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean.

At the same, the Best Odyssey is offering to serious explorers the opportunity to participate in a world sailing expedition that has never been done. Of course, this trip is not for kiteboarding beginners.

The mission kicked off in 2007 and will end in 2012. Jody MacDonald is the resident photographer on board the Best Odyssey and has captured incredible pictures, as the one above.

Recently, the crew has chosen the "Top Ten Places to Kiteboard on Earth". They are:

1. Marshall Islands
2. Cargados Shoals
3. Micronesia (Pohnpei and Kosrae)
4. Anakao, Madagascar
5. Raivavae, Austral Islands, French Polynesia
6. Atolls, French Polynesia
7. Los Roques, Venezuela
8. San Blas, Panama
9. Barbuda, Caribbean
10. Bazaruto, Mozambique