The world’s top speed sailors will converge on Luderitz and will attempt to break speed sailing records at the 4th Luderitz Speed Challenge from 4 to 31 October.
This year the challenge will be to break the 54 knots barrier and to be able to achieve this, the canal will be wider at the start to make entry as easy as possible. The sand removed from the canal will be laid to create a wall to protect during the high tide.
As a result of these changes the canal will be safer compared to previous years.
The canal will now be 10m wide, 700m long and 1m deep.
For the first time the three disciplines of hydrofoil boating, windsurfing and kite surfing will race together at the same time.
Notable participants in the Challenge will include Russell Long and his team in hydrofoil boating. They will bring along “The Longshot”, which beat the 1992 43,55 knots record.
World famous windsurfers Anders Bringdal and David Garrel have also confirmed their participation in the event. Garrel broke the French Speed Record in 2003 and held it for several years. In the same year Bringdal broke the Swedish speed record.
The first Luderitz Speed Challenge was held in 2007 and records were broken by kite surfers and the second fastest time in speed sailing ever was recorded achieving speeds of 47,92 knots.
2008 saw kite surfers break the existing speed sailing record and officially become the fastest sailors in the world achieving a world first of 50,57 knots over 500m.
Organisers decided to create a channel next to the existing 500m-speed strip in the 2009 event to ensure a flat-water surface and maximise the wind speed angle. As a result of the improvement, more records were broken including Frenchman, Alexandre Caizergues, who broke the kite surfing record with a speed of 50,98 knots over 500m.
Records show that September and October produce the highest and strongest winds and that is why the Challenge is always held during this time.
All records are verified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC), which officiates all speed sailing attempts.
View attachment for list of records