Windsurfing Magazine







The Sailing World Record Attempt.


Production Board World Record * Kitesurf World Record * Nautical Mile World Record


August 13th – 2nd Sept 2008


Introduction :

Just 21 years on from the tremendous achievements on 21st July 1986, at the almost unknown venue of Sotavento in Fuerteventura, David Thomas co-sponsored with Nabisco International, an event still recorded in the Guiness Book of World Records where Pascal Maka became the fastest sailor in the world, plus any number of National Speedsailing records. Now there is another unique location in the world to challenge even the famous Canary Islands, this is Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean with a wind pedigree that can possibly surpass the North East Trades of Playa Barca.


The unique factor of the wind is that it is absolutely pure and does not rely on the local surrounding topography to accelerate its strength.  The prevailing direction is East/South-East blowing across the Indian Ocean straight from the coast of Western Australia but accelerated by natures own high pressure areas created by the Roaring Forties and the Asian landmass.

This wonder of Nature has created an island surrounded by a massive lagoon of over 200 sq kilometres, where angles of attack no longer have a controlling effect on course layout.



But, perhaps, the most extraordinary aspect of the trip was the realisation of the unique conditions that are to be found in Rodrigues. This is especially around the lagoon area in the South of the Island.


With conditions so predictable and so constant that the Sportif team has been carrying out extensive research into the feasibility of Rodrigues being a venue for an attack on a number of high profile World Records which presently stands at 48.7 knots(approx 90 kilometer / 56 mph) for windsurf boards and 47.72 knots (approx 88 kilometer / 55 mph) for kites. The lowly Nautical Mile record is 41.69 knots surely to be broken in vast expanses of Rodrigues.


The scene is now set for an attempt at the records during late August 2008. Note the date has been chosen as this is when the conditions statiscally will be at their best for this attempt.


The International Speedsailing Association (ISA) is willing to set-up the electronic timing equipment for the 500m course along with the observation and measurement of such an attempt and it is envisaged that 12-15 top world’s fastest class windurfers plus the fastest kiters in the world will be invited to make the journey to Rodrigues to take part in the event.


Already interest is being shown by sponsors of surf and kite board equipment. This includes Fanatic, F2, Taboo and Starboard from the windsurfing sector; and from the kitesurfing industry North Kiteboarding and F-One.



The objective is naturally to break the 50 knot barrier as well as the long standing Production Board World Record. Plus, to add spice, to attempt a kite World record with the further bonus of an attempt on the Nautical Mile World record for which Rodrigues is perfectly suited.


A unique Tri Challenge Event never attempted before but with pure wind, mirror flatwater and a vast shallow lagoon, anything is possible.


For details on Rodrigues visit or view from the heavens on Google Earth, put into Fly To 19 46’03.22″S 63 25’27.57″E.




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