WEYMOUTH SPEED WEEK
Break out your Big Kit; Galvanise your GPS; Weymouth Speed Week starts this weekend!
If you want to take part or simply rub shoulders with some of the speediest sailors on the planet, get your board, kite or boat down to the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (The Olympic venue) where the action will be happening between Saturday 12th and Friday 18th October 2013.
Weymouth Speed Week (WSW) is the oldest and longest-running speed sailing event IN THE WORLD! Started in 1972, 2012 was its 40th Anniversary year. WSW is open to all wind-powered craft – experimental craft are particularly welcome! Besides your kit, all you need to take part is a GT31 GPS, which you can hire at the event if you don’t have one. Even if you are a first-timer, WSW is a unique opportunity to test your mettle against professional speed sailors over the same 500m course – and try to beat the record!
Over the years, WSW has been the backdrop to the setting of many World Speed Sailing Records. At WSW, competitors are challenged to beat both the Harbour record and the outright World Sailing Speed Record. The Harbour Record is 38.48 knots, set in 2008 by Swedish windsurfer Anders Bringdal. The World Sailing Speed Record is a big ask – it currently stands at 65.45 knots, set at Walvis Bay, Namibia in 2012 by Australian Paul Larsen aboard the boat Vestas Sailrocket 2 (which was built on the Isle of Wight!)
In terms of speed, kites have challenged the dominance of windsurfers in recent years. Windsurfing held the overall sailing speed record in an almost unbroken run for over 20 years, from Pascal Maka’s 38.66 knots in 1985 to Antoine Albeau’s 2008 record of 49.09 knots. In 2008, kitesurfing overtook windsurfing, but retained the title for France, with Sebastien Catelan notching up 50.52 kts. In 2010, US kitesurfer Robert Douglas set the sailing speed record at 55.65 knots. Although Douglas’ overall speed record was taken by Vestas Sailrocket 2 in 2013, his speed still stands as the kitesurfing world record. In 2013, Antoine Albeau took the windsurfing speed record over the mythical 50 knot barrier, recording windsurfing’s world record speed of 52.05 knots.
At WSW, there is not much between the windsurfers and the kites, but the speeds to beat are;
2010 – James Longmuir (kite) – 33.419 knots vs Kevin Greenslade (windsurfer) – 32.753 knots
2011 – David Williams (kite) – 36.250 knots vs David Garrel (windsurfer) – 35.742 knots
2012 – Daniel Borgelind (windsurfer) 33.174 knots vs Martin Carter (kite) – 29.123 knots
2008 – Anders Bringdal (windsurfer) – Harbour Record – 38.48 knots
See you there!
WSW will take place at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, Osprey Quay, Portland, DT5 1SA.
Tel: 01305 866000 www.WeymouthSpeedWeek.com