Monday, November 17, 2008

No record yet

The World Sailing Speed Record (WSSR) Council is the lone authorizing authority for record claims. Established by the International Sailing Federation in 1972, their mission is to maintain consistent standards for a variety of record setting categories. The quest for the outright world speed sailing record is being played out on several fronts, with recent excitement coming from Luderitz in Namibia where kiteboarders were displaying that they are currently the fastest.

American kitesurfer Rob Douglas set a new speed record of 49.84 at the Luderitz speed strip on September 19th, which was later ratified by the WSSR, beating out the previous record of 49.09 kts set earlier in the year by windsurfer Antoine Albeau (FRA). During the same speed event that Douglas set his record, called the L├╝deritz Speed Challenge, the event announcement came on October 3rd that Sebastien Cattelan of France become the first human being to sail at more than 50 knots, a world record he held for only 24 hours before compatriot Alexandre Caizergues snatched it away with a top speed of 50.57 knots.

The speed set by Caizergues was announced as the new speed record, but the only problem is that over a month later, no formal claim for the record has been requested of WSSR, who is still awaiting the documentation from the event organizers. According to the record books, Douglas is still the holder of the outright world speed sailing record.

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