Seven national records set at 2019 Luderitz Speed Challenge

December 9, 2019 | Windsurfing
2019 Luderitz Speed Challenge: the event set seven new national records | Photo: LSC

It's a wrap. The 2019 Luderitz Speed Challenge is over.

Once again, some of the world's fastest windsurfers raced for personal, national, and world records at the legendary Namibian speed strip.

This year, there were no world records, though. But the bar has definitely been raised, and Antoine Albeau's 2015 mark - 53.27 knots - will sooner or later be broken.

In the end, the fastest sailor of the 2019 Luderitz Speed Challenge was Vincent Valkenaers, with 53.25 knots. He also managed to set the fastest top speed ever sailed by a windsurfer - 55.45 knots.

Twan Verseput followed the Belgian with 53.249 knots, and Gunnar Asmussen finished third with 52.26 knots.

The event also set seven new national records for six nations, with four of them above 50 knots.

Surprisingly, there was only one kiteboarder racing this year. Carsten Franik recorded 46.90 knots over the 500-meter shallow water canal.

The fastest female windsurfer was Heidi Ulrich, with 46.10 knots. Interestingly, she was faster than the last seven male athletes in the men's rankings.

Finally, a word for Chris Bertish: the transatlantic SUP crosser and big wave surfer also rigged his sail and sailed at this year's edition.

"For most people, it's purely about speed and records. For me, it's about friendship, sailing with friends, the place, the scenery, the drive, the wildlife, the country, the contrasts," expressed Bertish.

"The speed and flying down the canal to try and break your personal best is just a bonus. I got to sail with the world's best speed sailors, help where possible, share a laugh, beers, and oysters, and build on friendships that now last a lifetime."

2019 Luderitz Speed Challenge | Fastest Windsurfers

Men's Windsurfing
1. Vincent Valkenaers (BEL-62) 53.25 knots
2. Twan Verseput (NED-127) 52.49 knots
3. Gunnar Asmussen (GER-2) 52.26 knots
4. Andy Laufer (GER-9)3 51.60 knots
5. Pep Bonet (E-18) 50.88 knots
6. Bjoern Dunkerbeck (E-11) 50.82 knots
7. Farrel O'Shea (K-81) 50.32 knots
8. Jim Crossley (K-33) 49.72 knots
9. Oisin Van Gelderen (IR-777) 49.36 knots
10. Mark Grinnell (SA-321) 48.97 knots
11. Taty Frans (NB-9) 48.58 knots
12. Stefan Csaky (A-297) 47.75 knots
13. Christian Arnold (SUI-203) 47.55 knots
14. Torsten Mallon (GER-818) 47.33 knots
15. Christian Benzing (GER-77) 46.79 knots
16. Erik Beale (K-5) 46.65 knots
17. Raymundo Sala (E-365) 46.04 knots
18. Mick Born (SWE-58) 45.43 knots
19. Aurelio Verdi (ITA-2019) 45.09 knots
20. Alberto Possati (I-107) 45.02 knots
21. Thomas Moldenhauer (GER-215) 44.86 knots
22. Chris Bertish (SA-99) 43.68 knots
23. Louis Naude (SA-148) 43.59 knots

Women's Windsurfing
1. Heidi Ulrich (SUI-204) 46.10 knots
2. Karo Van Tonder (SA-89) 44.55 knots
3. Miriam Rasmussen (NOR-17) 43.26 knots
4. Anne Schindler (GER-179) 42.81 knots

Men's Kiteboarding
1. Carsten Franik (GER-858) 46.90 knots

New National Records
Vincent Valkenaers) (BEL-62) 53.25 knots
Twan Verseput (NED-127) 52.49 knots
Gunnar Asmussen (GER-2) 52.26 knots
Pep Bonet (E-18) 50.88 knots
Oisin Van Gelderen (IR-777) 49.36 knots
Karo van Tonder (SA-89) 44.55 knots
Anne Schindler (GER-179) 42.8 knots

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