This was a darn good week for windsurfing! Anders Bringdal and Antoine Albeau both broke the previous world record for average windsurfing speed over a 500 meter course. They did it in a special channel carved into a tidal flat at a notoriously windy spot called Luderitz, on the desert seashore of Namibia, Africa. They only broke the record by about 1.6 knots, but in doing so they passed the seemingly impenetrable 50 knots barrier for speed.This puts windsurfers a little closer to the absolute record of 55 knots, set by American Kiteboarder Rob Douglas at the same spot two years ago. (Douglas broke a bunch of bones setting that record.) Most sailing theory and physics people predict that kites will retain their lead in the ongoing quest for speed, but you never know.
Zara Davis broke the women's windsurfing speed record, as well.
Also, the International Sailing Federation reversed its earlier decision to replace windsurfing with kiteboarding at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. I'm glad windsurfing is back in, but I'm sad that kiteboarding is out. Kiteboarding promised to be the first Olympic class to compete under a "production" rule, which would let competitors choose from a variety of off-the-shelf equipment, rather than under the restrictive "one-design" rule that binds windsurfers to using the same board and sail regardless of the conditions.
There's more on both these windsurfing news stories at DaNews blog.
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