Windsurfer Björn Dunkerbeck hits top speed of 103.67 km/h

November 22, 2021 | Windsurfing
Björn Dunkerbeck: the Danish windsurfer reached a top speed of 103.67 kilometers per hour during the 2021 Lüderitz Speed Challenge in Namibia | Photo: LSC

Björn Dunkerbeck added another accolade to his legendary windsurfing career by posting the fastest ever time on the water.

The Dutch windsurfer reached a top speed of 103.67 kilometers per hour (55.97 knots) during the 2021 Lüderitz Speed Challenge in Namibia.

Ever since French windsurfer Antoine Albeau broke the 50-knot barrier, Dunkerbeck has been on the hunt for the 100-kilometer-per-hour mark.

The windsurfing veteran started his career in 1986 and claimed over 100 Professional Windsurfing Association (PWA) wave and slalom titles.

Dunkerbeck's first speed record is now almost 30 years old when he hit 43.30 knots (80.1 kilometers per hour) in 1992.

Björn Dunkerbeck: his first speed record is now almost 30 years old when he hit 43.30 knots in 1992 | Photo: LSC

A Spectacular Run

However - as the technology to measure speed and windsurfing equipment evolved - he kept chasing the next milestone, which led him to what may be the last big one: 100 kilometers per hour.

The 52-year-old windsurfer knew that hitting such insane speeds on the water requires an incredible amount of skill, experience, and intimate knowledge of your equipment.

However, ultimately, it's the perfect spot and wind conditions that would make this record-breaking run possible.

On Thursday, November 18, 2021, in Namibia, Dunkerbeck broke that speed barrier, hitting 103.67 kilometers per hour over a two-second time gap and holding an average speed of 101 kilometers per hour over a 100-meter stretch of water.

The site of the record, Lüderitz, has become famous for "The Ditch."

"The Ditch" is a 500-meter long canal where the water stays flat even when the wind howls, making it the perfect place as long as you don't crash.

"No crashes. I try not to crash at that speed because if you do, your day is over," explained Björn Dunkerbeck.

Björn Dunkerbeck: breaking speed sailing records at 52 | Photo: LSC

100 Km/h over 500 Meters

While he had fast runs over the last three weeks, he knew he needed the perfect day to break 100 kilometers per hour with consistent gusts of strong wind, finally allowing him to break the historic mark at least five times.

After five years of attempts and months waiting around the barren, wind-blasted sands of Namibia, Dunkerbeck is ecstatic.

"We had quite a few days of wind around 35-38 knots, so the equipment was feeling really dialed," added the Dutch champion.

"I was on a 40-centimeter wide AVBoard speed windsurf board, with a 19-centimeter fin and a 5.5 Severne Mach 4 Lüderitz Speed Challenge LT sail.

"It all had to work perfectly to hit top speed!"

Despite his age, Dunkerbeck is fired up and now wants to lock in 100 kilometers per hour over 500 meters.

And you wouldn't bet against him doing it.

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