New Kitespeed World Record - subject to ratification
The third edition of "Salt and Speed" in Salin-de-Giraud (France), which is scheduled from November 6 to December 5, is on a mission to establish itself as 'the' speed sailing location.
The venue of Luderitz, Namibia has held the 'fastest track' title, which is where American kiter Rob Douglas set the outright speed record of 55.65 kts in 2010, later raised by Paul Larsen (AUS) to 65.45 kts on Vestas Sailrocket 2 in 2012.
But today (Nov. 11, 2013), Alexandre Caizergues (FRA) in Salin-de-Giraud exploded the world kite speed record with a staggering average of 56.62 knots.
"I am delighted. It's great, it's fantastic, "said Alex Caizergues."We validate the capabilities of our spot. We knew for a while that this could happen, we could go very quickly. In a north wind blowing between 45 and 50 knots, I made at least 15 runs and every time I was over 50 knots. I enjoyed a good burst to accelerate."
Christophe Simian, an observer for the World Sailing Speed Record Council, was on hand. This record is now awaiting final approval before becoming an official record. Rob will soon be joining Alex, and together they will seek to push the record higher.
Luderitz was unlucky with the wind this year but this venue at the Volkswagen Transporter Arena looks safer and may be equally fast with the right wind. They may need to keep the upwind bank as low as possible though.
Sailrocket did 65 knots in about 30 knots of wind so efficiency isn't great with the current kite setup.
To get the kite pulling lower down at the board level would help because power is limited by the leverage of the rider's weight.
If they built a pyramid on the board between their feet with the centreline attached to the top of it and pulleys for the two steering lines on a swivel either side of the centreline, they would be able to hold more power.