Royal North Shore Hospital

A kite surfer suddenly lifted into the air by a southerly breeze and dragged through bushes and a fence nearly "peeled off half his face" when he slammed into a street-sign pole on the weekend, a Sydney lifesaver says.

The 48-year-old Woy Woy man - whose name was not known - had surgery for facial fractures and a blood clot to the brain after he lost control of his kite at Sydney's Ettalong Beach about 4.30pm on Saturday.

He was in a stable condition at Royal North Shore hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.

But when lifesavers from Ocean Beach Surf Lifesaving Club found him on Saturday, he was unconscious and the pole he had smashed into was bent at an angle.

Moments earlier, a southerly buster had lifted the man approximately 15 metres into the air and carried him away from the beach towards bushes and a nearby road, police said.

"The surfer descended rapidly and was dragged through the bushes, struck a wire fence, which he broke through, and then struck and bent a street-sign pole," police said.

The man had just set up his kite on the beach when the incident happened, said Ocean Beach SLSC president Scott Hannell.

"He hadn't been in the water, he was still setting up to go out," he said. "From what I understand, most injuries in kite surfing happen at that stage.

"[The lifesavers] were doing a patrol down on the beach and saw it unfold as it happened."

The lifesavers followed the man as he was carried away from the beach, and were the first on-hand after he smashed into the street-sign.

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The German Kitesurf Association (GKA) and the Federazione Kitesurf Italiana (FKI) have become the first national affiliated members to the IKA.

Intention of national affiliated membership is to build a strong base of national associations taking care of the development in their respective countries.

A national associations sub-committee is currently set up to discuss development if international rules etc.

The number of national associations joining the International Kiteboarding Class Association is growing, and all national associations are invited to join in, to get their national events included into the world ranking and to become member of the nation associations sub-committee to give further input for the development of the class.

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