Records to tumble at Speed Challenge

Luderitz: So far the annual adrenaline pumping Luderitz Speed Challenge has produced an astonishing total of 12 world and 75 national windsurfing and kite surfing speed records. This now famous annual event takes place in Luderitz, right in the middle of the Namib Desert, in October this year.

Founder and organiser of the event and the first person ever to achieve 50 and 55 knots, Sébastien Cattelan (France), is the brainchild behind the specially made “very fast” channel, which now attracts the best kite surfers and windsurfers in the world.

This year’s event gets underway on October 5 and continues until November 15. This inspiring artificial 1km long channel is located in the natural Luderitz Second Lagoon, located just a few kilometres from Luderitz.

The competition has attracted 40 top riders from 14 different nationalities with each participant to attempt breaking both the national and world records. At the very least, many PBs are likely to be beaten during the gruelling six weeks of action.

Incumbent world speed record holder in windsurfing, Antoine Albeau (France), achieved an astonishingly fast 52.05 knots/96.4 kph average speed over the official 500m run at the 2012 event.

Albeau will once again do his best to keep his world title and push the limits even further. However, this will not be easy when facing the other highly accomplished windsurfers, such as Italian record holder Patrik Diethelm, winner of the 2014 event, who finished just within 9 knots of the world record.

Anders Bringdal (Swedish record holder), a legend in the windsurfing community, is another strong contender and is currently the 2nd fastest in the world with 51.45 knots.

Women will also be well represented with former world record holder, Swiss windsurfer Karin Jaggi, who will try to wrestle her title from fellow compatriot, Heidi Ulrich. Sébastien Cattelan (France), twice world record holder in kite surfing, will also compete and undoubtedly go for the world record in kite surfing (56.62 knots), but could face stiff opposition from other fast riders such as Sébastien Salerno and Sylvain Hoceini (both from France).

The finest in windsurfing and kite surfing from Germany, the United Kingdom, South Africa, France, Serbia, Belgium, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Croatia, Fiji, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and hosts Namibia will all be competing during the 6-week competition.records expected to tumble.