As a relative newcomer to wind powered water sports, kitesurfing is quickly establishing itself as one of the more adrenaline packed extreme sports out there. What distinguishes kiteboarding from other self propelled sports is the incredible height, distance and creative manoeuvres performed in the air. It’s no wonder it holds such an appeal. attoral
The English Summer season is drawing to a close but it’s going out with a bang… not a whimper… Last weekend, to the delight of all, there were epic winds. Wherever possible aficionados took to the water…
Although there’s a long dreary winter ahead – it’s not the end of the kitesurfing season.
Today is the second day of the Volkswagen Kite Tour 2010 held, this time, at Pico das Almas Cumbuco, Brazil. Yesterday, with winds ranging from 14 to 16 knots yesterday the freestyle and females racers were contesting placings.
And while the Volkswagen Tour is turning out champs, down in Namibia the 2010 speed championships are underway – in a smashing fashion. 3 national records were broken on the first day of what was meant to be just the warm-up trials for the Luderitz Speed Challenge held at 2nd Lagoon, Luderitz Bay, Namibia.
This is not the easiest event to get to. The first contingent of team North American Speed Sailing Project (NASSP) arrived in Namibia after a 30min boat ride, a 1 hour car ride, a 7 hour plane ride, an 11 hour plane ride, a 14 hour layover in Cape Town airport, another 2 hour plane ride which ended with an 8 hour car ride. That’s over 60 hours of travel!
they were pretty stoked thought as a good forecast predicted 4 to 5 days of 20 to 25 knots this week for some tuning and testing.
The first national record was broken within moments of the start. Within 13 minutes of the first day (Friday, 8th October) of the 2010 Luderitz Speed Challenge, kite surfer Gavin Broadbent smashed the existing New Zealand national record. After only 3 runs his official average speed over 500m was recorded at 44.51 knots – the previous record was 40.68 knots.
70 minutes later, also on his 3rd run, Swedish windsurfer Anders Bringdal broke the Swedish National Windsurfing record. The existing record was 41.96 and his official recorded speed was 42.9 knots.
The 3rd competitor of the day to set the standard was Australian Kite surfer Tim Pumpa who also made a new national record – previously Australia’s best kite speed record was 33.94 knots. Tim achieved an official speed of 40.72.
All new records are still to be ratified by the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSRC).
Remember that last year Frenchman Alex Caizergues (F One) broke the world kiteboarding speed record with an incredible time of 50.98 knots, breaking his previous world record of 50.57 and Rob Douglas (Cabrinha) also set a new American outright speed sailing record with an equally impressive time of 50.95knots.
The race is on. Broadbent, Bringdal and Pumpa have broken their country’s national records in the warm-ups. Imagine what could happen when they’re really trying!
Watch this space… but it might have to be for a while. The Luderitz Speed Challenge takes place between 4th – 31st October, 2010. Be patient… and remember that the kiters are also trying to break L’Hydroptère, the fastest sailing boat on the planet’s record of 51.36 knots…
So definitely watch this space!