Records tumble at speed challenge

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Lüderitz

Not even the strong winds and outrageous weather moods could dampen the excitement of participants at the annual Lüderitz Speed Challenge, underway in Lüderitz.

On Tuesday the wind was much stronger than initially predicted but the angle was better as it enabled sailors to achieve multiple performances in the speed channel with a flatter water surface.

The day started with a 25-30 knots average wind speed race at 12.30 but the wind suddenly started to increase strongly, reaching more than 50 knots in the gusts. Sand was flying, and sailing down the channel became a real challenge due to the strong sand blasts.

After a couple of runs over 50 knots, Antoine Albeau who achieved 51.66 knots two days ago was determined to go one better than his own world record set at the 2012 Lüderitz Speed Challenge, of 52.05 knots.

Immediately afterwards, records started to tumble one after the other as Boris Vujasinovic set another new Croatia record with 48.28 knots – tumbling the previous record of 47.37 knots.

Karin Jaggi, custodian of 29 world titles, improved her Swiss record again with 45.3 knots, bettering the 44.92 knots she set a few days ago. Boris Vujasinovic was not to be outdone either and set another Croatian record with 48.99 knots.

Antoine Albeau went over 51 knots, joined by Patrik Diethelm (ITA) and at about the same time Karin pushed hard and broke the female world record in windsurfing with 46.31 knots.

The record was previously held by Zara Davis (UK), which she set in 2012 at the same venue clocking 45.83 knots. Fifteen minutes later, Antoine Albeau tumbled his old world record, for the first time achieving 52.41 knots.

Albeau never looked back and smashed the record five times in succession, recording 52.50 knots, 52.76 knots, 53.1 knots before setting a new world record which now stands at a highly impressive 53.27 knots.

It was then the turn of British record Holder Farrel O’Shea to show off his true skills and determination. After breaking his own British record two days earlier with 49.24 knots, the Britain improved slightly, recording 49.99 knots, which gifted him more motivation to go for the jugular.

After a couple of runs, he smashed the 50 knots with a highly impressive 51.20 knots to move him into 5th overall standings in the Windsurfing World Speed rankings.

Patrik Diethelm who had broken his Italian record earlier (01.11.15), led with 51.77 knots and smashed his Italian record with a highly credible 52.33 knots to occupy 2nd spot in the world speed rankings. The competition ends on the 15th of this month.

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