The world's fastest windsurfers and kitesurfers will hunt new speed sailing records from October 22nd through November 25th, in Luderitz, Namibia. The 2018 Luderitz Speed Challenge has returned with high hopes and plenty of well-known faces. The event has been running since 2007.
Bjorn Dunkerbeck, Steve Allen, Chris Bertish, Philippe Bru, Mark Grinnell, Farrel O'Shea, Twan Verseput and Alberto Possati (Windsurfing), as well as Sebastian Cattelan and Martin Carter (Kitesurfing), are some of the stars of this year's showdown.
Pep Bonet will be shooting video and photo alongside Stefan Csaky, but he will also race at Luderitz. The Spaniard hopes to improve his personal best of 44.3 knots set during the 1995 Tarifa World Cup Speed Week.
The speed sailing event is expecting wind to blow on average at 35 knots plus, at least three times a week during the five-week waiting period. Organisers believe that the warm and stable wind will often reach between 40 and 45 knots, and occasionally peak at 50, 55, 60 and maybe 65 knots.
The event will feature a state-of-the-art video timing system that will send the riders' speeds at the channel directly to the official website in real-time. The stakes are really high, but the sailors will give their best to improve personal, national, continental, and international records.
Let's not forget that the world's fastest windsurfer is Antoine Albeau with 53.27 knots (98.65 km/h), and the fastest kiteboarder on the planet is Alex Caizergues with 57.97 knots (107.36 km/h).
Namibia's Luderitz and France's Salin-de-Giraud are currently the windiest speed sailing strips on the planet.
2018 Luderitz Speed Challenge | Fastest Confirmed Riders
1. Sebastien Cattelan (FRA) 55.49 knots
2. Mark Grinnell (UK) 51.83 knots
3. Farrel O'Shea (UK) 51.20 knots
4. Bjorn Dunkerbeck (ESP) 51.09 knots
5. Twan Verseput (NED) 50.05 knots