sail-world.com -- Luderitz Speed Challenge - The battle to push the limits
Luderitz Speed Challenge - The battle to push the limits
Tue, 1 Oct 2013
The Luderitz Challenge, the world record attempt in speed sailing, is welcoming nineteen different nationalities and potential new world records!
During the 2013 event, more than 50 top-class competitors will battle to push the limits even further after the huge success of 2012, proving this event as the fastest in the world with 55 National Records and 11 World Records due to:
• Conditions - The warm Namib Desert winds accelerate through the surrounding hills and on reaching the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean, thermal atmospheric pressure create incredibly high wind speeds. Statistically, the wind blows an average of 35 knots+ for at least three times a week during the event, often reaching 40-45 knots and sometimes, even up to 50 to 60 knots of warm and stable winds.
• Event Background - Six years of intense research and development
• Organisers - Sébastien Cattelan, two times World Record Holder and World Champion, with an average speed of 103kph over 500m (55.49kts) and Sophie Routaboul, second fastest woman in the World, with 90kph over 500m (48.64kts). Both these professionals share their knowledge and skills with the best speed sailors in the world.
• Participants - Since 2007, the famous names in speed have achieved their official records at the Lüderitz Speed Challenge using the specially developed 500m canal run which ensures top performances. Windsurfing legends including; Antoine Albeau, Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Anders Bringdal have all performed at the event. Bjorn believed that after the top performances of 2010, whereby Kite surfers had broken World Records, these had been achieved mainly due to the channel and its location. It was obvious to him that windsurfers could also achieve very high speeds in these conditions. In 2012, all participating competitors realised that it was possible to go even faster than their past best! Antoine Albeau was also surprised at the ease of achieving top speeds in the channel!
• The Channel is key to world-class Performance - 2011 was the beginning of a new era for this historic speed sailing project: Although the new canal dug in the lagoon in 2010 made a significant difference (the ultimate speed sailing World Record was broken!), the channel still required further improvements to ensure more records, especially in the world of professional windsurfing.
In 2011, Sébastien Cattelan and Sophie Routaboul (organisers) researched the possibilities of widening and lengthening the channel to create a smoother water surface for faster speeds and deeper water for increased safety.
After 12 months of setting up the project and obtaining the necessary authorisation, they managed to dig an artificial channel just outside of the lagoon with the support of the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism, thus ensuring the perfect conditions to set new world records!
At the 2012 Lüderitz Speed Challenge event, no less than seven Windsurfers surpassed 50 knots, reaching 52 knots (Three knots more than the previous record) in only 40 knots of wind!