The NWF team have announced their inclusive speed challenge - FASTER - will take place on the 18-19 2015 April at the OTC, Weymouth. Check out all the details below:

DSC_6794

Every windsurfer likes to go fast!

For most of us, the first real thrill of our windsurfing careers was that electrifying surge of speed the first time the board released from its waterbourne fetters and took to the air, transporting you into a whole new dimension – planing! This raw exhilaration is what hooks most of us to the sport for life and, let’s face it, speed IS the simplest windsurfing discipline of them all. No turns required; no competitors alongside you; no worries about start-line etiquette or rules of the road – just you and your board, going in a straight line, as fast as you can!

There is a long and proud tradition of speed in windsurfing. Windsurfing held the overall speed record for wind-powered craft in an almost unbroken run for over 20 years. It started in 1985 with Pascal Maka’s 38.66 knots and lasted to Antoine Albeau’s 2008 record of 49.09 knots. The specially built Vestas Sailrocket 2 upped the outright sail-powered World Speed Record ante to 65.45 knots, although Antoine still holds the windsurfing world speed record at a rather creditable 52.91 knots, or 60.89mph in old money.

But is speed for everyone? We asked NWF regular Zara Davies, the fastest woman in the world, who achieved her eye-watering world record of 45.83 knots (52.74mph!) in Luderitz back in 2012. Zara told us “Anyone can do it. If you can sail in a straight line, you can speed sail! It’s a great event for women to get into – no competing on the line with testosterone – it’s all about YOUR performance."

Zara-and-Antoine-Small-copy

Of course, it is unlikely that we will be looking to reach the kind of speeds that you could achieve on a specially constructed canal in Namibia, but the flat waters of Weymouth harbour have made their own contribution to the world of speed too. Starting in 1972, Weymouth Speed Week (WSW) is the oldest and longest-running speed sailing event IN THE WORLD! Over the years, WSW has been the backdrop to the setting of many World Speed Sailing Records. The Harbour Record is currently 38.48 knots, set in 2008 by Swedish windsurfer Anders Bringdal.

OTC-Slaom-Trg-Camp-22-Feb

So it seems fitting, then, that the NWF should run its first Speed event at the OTC in Weymouth, the home of speed sailing! Like every NWF event, it is open to everyone and particularly welcomes youngsters and ladies to come along and try something new in a non-intimidating environment. You can enter on any type or age of windsurfing equipment and if you don’t have your own, GPS will be available over the weekend and also a speed gun. As with all NWF events, some of the biggest names in windsurfing will be on hand to offer tips and encouragement. So if you want to see how you measure up in the home of speed, come along, have fun and see how fast YOU can go!

You might surprise yourself!

Jackie Lambert

The NWF Speed Challenge will take place on 18-19 2015 April at the OTC, Weymouth. www.uk.otc-windsurf.com

Further info and details of the event and how to book in due course, see www.nationalwatersportsfestival.com