Tom Hammerton claims the Hawaiian speed season with 39.1 knots

January 13, 2012 | Windsurfing
Tom Hammerton: Hawaiian speed windsurfing records

Tom Hammerton was the fastest speed windsurfer in Hawaii during the 2011 season. Although speed windsurfing in the Hawaiian Islands is mainly raced in open ocean waters and over a 100-metre attempt, the best results are quite impressive.

Hammerton, a British windsurfer, recorded 39.1 knots on the 19th December, at Kamalo, between choppy waves. "Despite the fact that Kamalo is one of the windiest spots in Hawaii it just never came together. I had been told by local residents that Kamalo did indeed dry out on occasion, but no-one could put a number on it", Tom explains.

"The run at Kamalo is very short and really good acceleration would be required to get good speeds and to have any chance of a decent 10 second run. I optimistically took a 6.0 sail but it really needs to be a solid 35 knots for me to use for speed so I ended up rigging the 6.6 as it was around 30 knots and I was expecting it to ease."

"I remember very clearly the best run. Just as I was bearing off an even stronger gust came to keep me at maximum power. Again, I felt acceleration and I felt the water harden up as I careened across the corrugated water surface".

"I knew it was a good run and was 100% committed to staying at full power and maximum speed for as long as possible even though I knew I was headed straight for unprotected water with heavy chop."

"Things were getting more perilous by the second. The board started bucking like an enraged bull, as the chop increased and the speed quickly diminished. I carefully eased the power off and headed up to bleed the speed off and things came back into control. I learned, a long time ago, never to sheet out quickly as it is a sure recipe for disaster!"

"I was hoping to see a 40 on the GPS, when I dropped in after the run! Alas, it was not to be, but I can’t say I was disappointed when I saw a 39.6 and punched the air in victory. It was all worth it", tells Hammerton.

Speed windsurfing in Hawaii is definitely a tough challenge.

Fastest Hawaiian 100m Speed Windsurfers of 2011

Tom Hammerton (GBR), 39.1 knots - December 19th, Kamalo
Dan Ellis (GBR), 38.4 knots - November 26th, Maalaea
Peter Volwater (NED), 38.2 - November 23rd, Maalaea