Steve Thorp: fast as a...bullet

Steve Thorp is now the fastest windsurfer in the world. The British sailor set a new world speed windsurfing record by reaching 50.48 knots at West Kirby, England, on January 3, 2012.

Thorp wore two GPS units that delivered different results. The first peaked at 54 knots, and the other at 50.48 knots.

After a careful review, confirmed the second record, which was enough to take the lead.

"Obviously, they couldn't both be right and in the end, it was found that the faster time was a spike due to the GPS losing a satellite or two for a few moments, possibly due to the extreme acceleration and chop, combined with the weather," explains Steve Thorp.

"This shows the importance of wearing two GPS and getting the tracks looked at and ratified by the experts. Obviously, I'm beyond chuffed with that."

Thorp is a 76-kilogram sailor and always wears 12 kgs of lead to "supersize" himself.

The speed windsurfer sailed at West Kirby with a 40-wide Moo Custom, 4.6/5.0/5.5 Simmer SCR sails, one boom, and a couple of K4 fins.

"I do struggle to sail a tight course as the gusts try to open up the sail and lift me off my feet, and sometimes I feel like I just don't have the levers to drive the board to its max."

"But my solution to this has always been to bear off and go 'with the wind.' It's possible that my light weight actually helps with the max speed as I'll theoretically be quicker to accelerate," says Thorp.

Top Stories

It's official. The World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) ratified two new outstanding accomplishments in windsurfing and kiteboarding.

Professional surfers Kai Lenny and Jamie O'Brien embarked on a thrilling adventure when they set sail aboard the high-performance USA SailGP F50 foiling catamaran.

Planing is one of the most exciting skills you can master while windsurfing. It usually separates beginners from intermediate and advanced sailors. But what is the minimum wind speed to get flying over water?

Imagine gliding across a frozen lake, your sail catching the wind, and skis slicing through the ice and snow. Meet the sport that blends the thrill of windsurfing with the crisp, cold beauty of winter landscapes.