50 Knot Barrier Broken!




Unfortunately, not by a windsurfer… But subject to WSSRC ratification, Sebastien Cattelan (FRA) has finally broken the magical 50 knot barrier, the Holy Grail of speed sailing. Accompanied by several high 49 knots runs from himself, Alexandre Caizergues and Jerome Bila (all France) he was the only sailor finally getting to 50.26 knots.

Special attendance was paid to the required water depth, and the organizer in cooperation with the WSSRC commissioner present clearly ensured that the rule was strictly applied.

Full details, pictures and reports can be found at


50 knots to the Catman!!! 
Friday, October 03, 2008, Friday 9:59 PM
It was a massive Friday at the Lüderitz Speed Challenge, with a new world record, and the magic 50 knot barrier broken by Sebastien Cattelan of France with a blistering run of 50.26 knots (93kph). The new record is still subject to ratification by a sitting of the World Speed Sailing Records Council.

In the 35 to 40 knot winds that blew today, gusting to more than 45 knots (83kph), the speed sailors braved very rough water conditions to achieve these records speeds, with numerous runs by top sailors of over 49 knots. Several new outright records were set:

•    Sebastien Cattelan 50.26 knots – new world outright speed sailing record, and the first person to break the magic “50 knot” barrier (sponsored by Genetrix kites, xelerator boards, Prolimit, Ocean eyewear, Dabens)

•    Rolf van der Vlugt 44.9 knots – new Dutch outright speed sailing record (Airush, Mystic, Protest, TUDelft, X-tremeboards)
•    David Williams 44.82 knots – new UK outright speed sailing record (Best Kiteboarding, Dead Man clothing)
•    Charlotte Consorti 42.19 knots – new French women’s outright speed sailing record (F-One, Nike, Maui Magic, Baracuda, Weleda)
•    Katja Roose 36.83 – new Dutch women’s outright speed sailing record (Protest, Maui Magic, Airush)

Other top times today were from Jerome Bila 49.26 knots and Alexander Caizergues at 49.21 knots. Note that these times are verified by the official time keeper, but are still subject to final ratification by the WSSRC.

Cattelan’s new record ups the ante in this 2008 edition of the month-long Lüderitz Speed Challenge, where American Rob Douglas’ 49.84 knots on the 19th September smashed the 49.09 knot world record set by windsurfer Antoine Albeau in the ‘trench’ at St Marie de la Mer in France earlier this year.

Coming into today’s event, he was struggling with an unrelated small injury, requiring him to reduce his activity. “I’ve been in bed the last three days, concentrating on what I would do today. Then I just did it,” he says. According to Cattelan, his record breaking run of today saw a maximum speed of 58 knots – 107kph – on the GPS, with an average of 54.5 knots over 200m.

Saturday promises even stronger winds, with a new milestone ahead of the competitors – the psychological barriers of 60mph and then 100kph.

Both the competitors and ESF Events, the organisers of the Lüderitz Speed Challenge are expecting even more world-beating performances tomorrow.

Speed:World:Cup is the officially sanctioned world tour of the International Speed Windsurfing Class (ISWC) and the Professional Kite Riders Association (PKRA)

The Speed:World:Cup events go from exceptional action in Namibia to more cosmopolitan spots such as Fuerteventura – the historical European Speedsurfing Capital, to huge shows of extreme conditions on small islands like Karpathos. In total, there are 200 to 300 competitors at the same time, from places like Australia or Brasil, to Germany or Norway.

The Tour has to offer: dynamic, thrilling action, and bring the most visually dynamic aquatic sports to the audience, making it a perfect vehicle to locate sponsors logos; a sport that is set outdoors, healthy and environmental friendly.

Superb action on the water, combined with an interactive and exciting life experience, that creates an atmosphere where the fans and the media are face to face with the most radical and intense competition and the biggest personalities of the sport.
Besides being a sport of radical action, Windsurfing and Kiteboarding is a way of life. This type of life is formed by several elements to which many aspire, but that few can really achieve. Most of, if not even all of these aspects of the sport are represented in the Speed:World:Cup.

The Speed:World:Cup is entitled to hold World, Continental and National Championships and is always looking for partners, local organizers as well as national associations, to propagate this exciting and thrilling discipline all over the world.




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