New Era (Windhoek)

13 November 2012

Namibia: British Windsurfer Smashes Record in Lüderitz

Lüderitz — British windsurfer Zara Davis smashed the previous record by setting a new mark of 44.19 knots in the Lüderitz  speed strip on opening day last week Wednesday.

The wind was blowing in the 28-30 knots range. Davis was one of only three women ever to go over 40 knots. She is the women's world production record holder for 500 metres, with 36.99 knots of speed. She is also one of the fastest female sailors in the world.

This windsurfer born in Bristol is currently sailing with a Mistral sail in Lüderitz .

Davis was the first windsurfer to test the revamped raceway and will be aiming at higher records in the weeks to come.

Even though the forecast has announced only moderate wind, riders were really motivated to hit the gust each day as the atmosphere was unusually peaceful.

The group of competitors is enjoying the conditions and the event, without hesitating to put their hands into the sand to help achieve the common objective of breaking records.

The current speed windsurfing Namibian record holder Matthias Röttcher watched the event in the media and has decided to take his 4x4 across the desert to join the visitors and take the chance to claim a new record.

After testing the channel he improved his existing record of 41.44 knots to 42.32 knots. Windsurfers from all over the world are following the event and are starting to realise that the Lüderitz  Speed Challenge is one of the biggest opportunities for them to be in the speed sailing limelight together with boats and kite surfers.

The international support to riders and organisers is unbelievable. Encouragement from all corners of the world is streaming in daily. Last Friday, Zara was again the first to jump into the water, and it paid off thanks to the other contestants who opened the race every day, by celebrating a new record.

Antoine Albeau was leading the day with 48.57 knots, but Anders Bringdal went further with 48.60 knots, improving the world windsurfing record on production board, and claiming the new Swedish record. Albeau is the current world slalom windsurfing champion and in Lüderitz he has set a new world speed windsurfing record with 49.41 knots, with only 38 knots of wind. Swedish legend Anders Bringdal broke the world speed windsurfing record.

Dieter Gerichhausen again beat the German record in windsurfing with 44.01 knots, but was followed by Christian Bornemann who was faster, ending with a new German record with 44.41 knots.

Their German team mate Christian Benzing went faster in less wind on Friday and came closer with 42.81knots. So did Patrick Diethelm in less wind with 46.55 knots, improving his Swiss record. Lena improved her Turkish record with 42.6 knots, while Cédric Bordes managed to reach the 3rd best speed of the day with 47.83 knots.

Lena Aylin Erdil has also been racing fast and broke the female Turkish record several times by reaching 41.53 knots. Farrel O'Shea defended his colours by beating the UK record twice, ending with 46.15 knots. Patrick Diethelm, sailing under the flag of Switzerland, broke the Swiss record with 46.29 knots, while French rider Cédric Bordes managed to sail the exact time of the previous Albeau record, hitting 49.09 knots.

Christian Bornemann broke the German record in windsurfing twice and currently holds it at 43.93 knots, while Dieter Gerichhausen reached 42.92 knots, holding this record for a time during the day. Christian Benzing touched a personal best with 40.33 knots, not far behind his countrymen.

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