The worldâ€™s biggest kitesurfing and windsurfing race
Africa is home to some of the worldâ€™s finest sailing and wind sports accolades. From the recent speed kiting event held in Luderitz, Namibia, which crowned world champions and declared the kite the fastest sailing vessel, to the first stop-over of the grueling Volvo Ocean Race. Home-grown athletes like Sjoukje Bredenkamp grace the world circuits with their presence and bring home outright speed records as they brave the howling winds around the globe.
For the past 22 years, the worlds fastest have gathered in Africa for ultimate racing adventure â€“ the mission from main beach Langebaan to Dial Rock Saldanha (a 17km course). Originally a windsurfing race, the Dash has attracted a mix of local and foreign wind lovers on kites and Hobie cats all in pursuit of the challenge of dicing tankers, large swells, squalling wind and hundreds of competitors.
2009 is a special year for the Dash, as we welcome the new title sponsor Resolution Health Medical Scheme. Resolution recognizes the lifestyle of the adrenalin seeking adventurers and is proud to be associated with the heritage and caliber of the Dash. Visit www.resomed.co.za for more information.
Winning the dash is about the achievement. Itâ€™s the sense of satisfaction and the honour of having your plaque on the legendary wheel trophy, alongside some of the worldâ€™s finest sailors. Matt Swart is a well known local hero who has won the event six times. The dash favours the local sailor, and offers a great challenge to anyone up for the adventure of exploring the Langebaan lagoon.
There are a host of brands and sponsors who are working closely together with the Saldanha Bay Sailing Club to continue to grow the event over the coming years. Resolution Healthâ€™s partner, Voila Travel has generously sponsored a generous prize purse of travel vouchers to the winners, as well as Red Bull hosting the energy centre, Kauai, the NSRI, Hunters Dry and Club Mykonos. More details of the prizes will follow shortly.
The event will be held on the first day of sufficient wind on either the 17/18 January 2009 or the holdover weekend 31/1 February 2009. Registration for the event will be available online at gustmagazine.com as well as on the morning of the race. All registered participants will receive sms updates regarding the start time and day of the race or alternatively join the GUST group on facebook. Accommodation enquiries can be made through GUST magazine.
Final words from 2008 winner Alex Caizergues* from France;
â€œI will be there for the Downwind Dash 2009 edition. I have to defend my title and for sure it will be a great battle against Seb and all the locals again! I heard talk of there being 250 kites in the race and I cannot wait to see the show in Langebaan! See you in January!â€
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