37.29 knots: Zara Davis sets a new speed sailing record

August 7, 2018 | Windsurfing
Zara Davis: the fastest windsurfer in the world | Photo: Peter Davis

Zara Davis broke the world women's nautical mile speed sailing record.

The British windsurfer sailed at 37.29 knots during the La Palme Speed Masters 2018, in the south of France.

Davis, who held the record for nearly 12 years, saw her mark of 34.74 knots being smashed by Heidi Ulrich at the French event. On July 16, the Swiss windsurfer improved Zara's world record after sailing at 35.91 knots.

However, the veteran sailor from Clevedon only needed five days to reclaim the fastest mark on a nautical mile speedway.

"It was the first time I have sailed this spot. It was an interesting experience, even though I have not done the nautical mile for 12 years. I had some difficult kit choices," explained Davis.

"It was again a close competition with Heidi Ulrich. It was hard having to fly home and go back to work with no world record that I had held for 12 years, but the mission to return to La Palme and take the record back was well worth it."

The nautical mile is one of the three most popular speed sailing records, alongside the 500-meter record and the 24-hour distance record.

The rules for the one nautical mile record are identical to the 500-meter regulations, except that instead of 500 meters, sailors can ride their craft over an 1852-meter course.

The new achievement by Zara Davis has already been ratified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC).

  • Dutch environmental activist and windsurfer Merijn Tinga, also known as the "Plastic Soup Surfer," has made an audacious journey from Oslo to London, braving the North Sea's currents and winds, to call attention to the pervasive problem of plastic pollution.