World Record for Rob Douglas

With a run of 49.84 knots, American kitesurfer Rob Douglas beat the outright World Speed Sailing Record over 500 metres at the speed strip at Luderitz in Namibia.

Rob Douglas.  Copyright: Organiser The “Luderitz Speed Challenge” has kicked off with a set of impressive performances, with the riders still having 25 days left to better the mythical 50 knots barrier. And why not? The “Luderitz Speed Challenge” reached escape velocity today in Namibia as Rob Douglas smashed the record of Antoine Albeau (49.09 knots) with a run timed at 49.84 knots.

Rob Douglas, 37, a former windsurfer who started kitesurfing in June, blew it away in Namibia. He had already beaten the previous US record earlier this week. Sebastian Cattelan, alias “Catman”, was not far off the pace. The Toulouse-born Frenchman, living in South Africa and an organiser of the event with Fred Dasse, clocked a run at 49.59 knots. He was initially credited with an unratified speed of 50.10 knots, but this speed was revised down by the WSSRC Commissioner after careful examination of timing data.

These two kitesurfers are definitely on the road towards the 50 knot challenge!  A record never falls alone, and several other great performances were established during today. Sjoukje Bredenkamp (South Africa) improved her existing world record with a speed of 45.20 knots: a new Women’s Outright World Record over 500 metres. The young South African has set the bar very high. Hennie Bredenkamp takes the African outright record with 47.59 knots, while David Williams and Jurgen Geiger respectively clocked at 43.32 and 44.90 knots to take the British Kitesurf record and the Outright Namibian record.

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