Records continued to tumble at the Luderitz Speed Challenge on Thursday as the world record was broken twice while numerous national records were also established.
On a day when the wind blew up to 45 knots, the organisers decided to build a retaining wall after the finish of the run to keep the water in at low tide. This paid huge dividends and many records were smashed.
Sebastian Cattelan of France became the first speed sailor to break the 55 knot barrier when he set a new world record of 55,49 knots or an incredible 102,6 km/h. This broke the previous wotld record of 54,10 knots that Alex Caizergues of France established on October 13.
But barely 60 minutes later, Cattelan’s record tumbled when Rob Davies of the United States set a new world record of 55,65 knots or 103,06 km/h.
Cazeirgues then improved his old world record mark with a speed of 54,93 knots.
In the women’s competition, Charlotte Consorti of France set a new French and European record of 50,43 knots, while compatriot Sophie Routaboul was close on her heels, with a speed of 48,64 knots. Routaboul’s performance was especially noteworthy, since she competed with a broken hand, following a crash the previous week.
Two more Frenchmen managed to surpass the 50 knot mark with Sebastian Salerno setting 54,28 knots and Sylvain Hoceini 52,90 knots.
Taro Niehaus, who held the previous South African record of 50,60 knots, also passed the 50 knot mark with a speed of 50,59 knots.
Stephan Metzger, meanwhile, broke the Namibian record for the second time within a day. On October 28 he set anew national record of 46,60 knots and less than 24 hours later he improved this to 48,57 knots.
Basil Cambanis set a new South African record of 50,75 knots, while Jernej Privsek set a new Slovenian record of 46,60 knots.