Mondial du Vent “Sosh Cup” Leucate France Speed Event

The American team arrived in Leucate, France 4 days day’s early to prepare for the Mondial du Vent speed event, the largest kitesurfing event in France. The team: Rob, Morgan, Jamie Douglas and myself were on a mission to see if a new course record could be set in the waters of La Franqui. The weather forecast was perfect as the Tramontonia wind was about to hit hard for 4 huge days! 30 to 40 knots with gusts of 45knots. Perfect conditions for speed sailing. Flat water

Mondial du Vent “Sosh Cup” Leucate France Speed Event

Mondial du Vent “Sosh Cup” Leucate France Speed Event

…. Strong winds….Good wind angle…. and the worlds fastest speed sailors in one location.

The day before the event kicked off we had winds 30 to 40knots one the course so we got a early jump on the competitors as we got to train on the course. Tuning in our gear, checking line length, fins sizes, foot strap positions making sure our gear was ready for the up coming days. Raining and cold, the brothers were all looking very fast as they have been training in Martha’s Vineyard over the past few months with temperatures in the 40’s. They felt right at home. I started to feel comfortable maybe to comfortable, as I crashed hard at 40+ knots, cart wheeling across the water snapping my neck like never before. The worst crash I have ever had in my carrier. Reality Check! Never the less I was fine but was going to start the racing with a sever whiplash in the approximate area of C5 and C6.

Race days: Friday, Saturday, Sunday

50 minutes into Heat 1 after a slight technical delay, Rob Douglas landed the first shot with a blistering 44.61 kt average and a new speed record for Leaucate. Antoine Albeau 20 time world champion windsurfer answers back in heat 2 with a bullet after Rob made a costly mistake. I had a good start sailing consistent heats with a 6th and 7th hanging on to my Cabrinha Switchblade 7m.

GPS miles sailed: 65 Nautical Miles
GPS V MAX: 50 Knots

Day 2:

Rougher water and 35 to 40 knots the American team started to find their groove as Morgan and Jamie made their climb up the leader board and Rob holding strong in the battle for top spot with two 2nd’s. I sailed my throw outs early, as I could not find my groove as I battled to wrap my head around 40knots.

Day 3:

Last day of the Tramontonia wind, Rob was .9 points out of first behind Antoine. Morgan, Jamie and myself were holding strong in the top 10. I started to get more comfortable with the windy conditions and dropped two 3rd’s in on the fleet. Beating Rob and Antoine in the 6th heat. Antoine and Rob continued to trade bullets and in the end it was Antoine 1.3 points ahead after 7 heats.

Thanks to: Cabrinha kites, Lynch Associates, The Black Dog, GoPro, Oakley, Meanline Fins, Dakine, Alex Aguera, Cornerfive, NP, Gorilla Rigging. A big Thanks to Pascal Maka for inviting team USA to the Mondial du Vent “Sosh Cup”.

Kindly, Damo

Sosh Cup Results:

Rob Douglas: 1st kite 2nd overall Best speed over 500m: 44.61 knots. (Course record)
Damien LeRoy 3rd kite and 5th overall
Morgan Douglas 6th kite and 11th overall
Jamie Douglas 9th kite and 15th overall

World Kiteboarding Speed Record Attempt Salt and Speed 2

After some initial attempts at the Outright Sailing Speed Record late last year, Alexandre Caizergues and Rob Douglas will be back in action from 10 March to 18 April 2013 at the new speed spot in France’s Salin-de-Giraud.

World Kiteboarding Speed Record Attempt Salt and Speed 2

World Kiteboarding Speed Record Attempt Salt and Speed 2

With an average speed of 53.40 knots for the American and 52.45 knots for the Frenchman over 500 metres, the first “Salt and Speed” session proved to be a popular success, as well as enabling the kitesurfers to validate the Volkswagen Transporter Arena and rack up the year’s best world performance in kitesurfing. Since that time, Alex and Rob have put in a lot of training both on and off the water so as to continue to make technical and physical advances. Alex Caizergues has linked together a series of sessions in South Africa and Qatar, whilst Rob has been in Costa Rica. As such the two guys are honed and ready to boost their record haul, a bid which will initially involve trying to improve on the current World kitesurfing speed record held by Rob Douglas himself (55.65 knots). “We mustn’t let our imagination run away with us. It’s going to take a while to go faster than SailRocket 2 and her 65.45 knots, but at this particular speed spot, Rob’s world record is within our grasp and 60 knots is a reasonable target,” explains Alex Caizergues. “Weather conditions in early March are often excellent with a strong Mistral and we’re feeling motivated. We’ll be working with the same organisation team as you don’t change a winning team.
Alexandre Caizergues:

Born on 14 March 1979

3 x World Speed Champion (2007, 2008, 2009)
2 x World Speed Record all categories combined in 2008 and 2010
2 x World Kite Speed Record in 2007 and 2009
2 x FFVL (French Free Flight Federation) French Speed Champion
European Long Distance Number Two 2008
World Speed Number Two 2006

1st man to break 100 km/hr on the water, propelled by the wind

Partners: Ouest Provence – AlpEnergie par GDF SUEZ – Volkswagen Véhicules Utilitaires (Commercial Vehicles) – Zenith – Sosh.

Rob Douglas Kiteboarding Speed Record

Rob Douglas:

Born on 16 June 1971

World Speed Record all categories combined in 2011 with 55.65 knots and 49.84 knots in 2008.

World Speed Champion 2012

Partners: The Black Dog – Cabrinha – Lynch Associates – NPX – Dakine – Curtis Fins- Mike’s Lab custom boards

In figures:

65.45 knots: Sailrocket 2 November 2012

55.65 knots: Rob Douglas 28 October 2010 Namibia

55.49 knots: Seb Cattelan 28 October 2010 Namibia

54.10 knots: Alexandre Caizergues 12 October 2010 Luderitz, Namibia exceeding 100km/hr

51.36 knots: Hydroptère on 6 September 2009

50.57 knots: Alexandre Caizergues 4 October 2008 Luderitz, Namibia

50.26 knots: Seb Cattelan 3 October 2008 Luderitz, Namibia

49.84 knots: Rob Douglas 19 September 2008 Luderitz, Namibia

49.09 knots: World Speed Record Antoine Albeau 5 March 2008 in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France

46.82 knots: Record set by windsurfer Finian Maynard in the autumn of 2004, bringing an end to the hegemony of the sailboat Yellow Pages in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France

46.52 knots: Yellow Pages Endeavour in 1993 at the Sandy Point spot, Australia

38.86 knots: Pascal MAKA the first windsurfer to rack up a new official record with 38.86 knots in Sotavento

26.30 knots: Crossbow Catamaran in Portland in 1972

NB: the outright World Sailing Speed Record is the best average speed over 500m by a sail-powered contraption… As such it is different to a peak speed!

Partners to “Salt and Speed”: Volkswagen Véhicules Utilitaires (Commercial Vehicles), Groupe Salins, Zenith, Fédération Française de Vol Libre (French Free Flight Federation).

World Speed Record Attempt Luderutz Challenge 2012

Since the 19th century Lüderitz has welcomed some extraordinary periods:
In the middle of this desert and with a pioneering spirit, the people living there have used the natural resources of this little corner of Namibia to make things happen. Frequently making do with absolutely nothing, but yet able to achieve their dreams and create something. Against the odds and in the face of adversity they have passed the last century discovering new resources and technologies, like finding and mining diamonds. Similarly, a new boundary is being broken, Lüderitz now being the only place in the world to witness those kite and windsurfing performances never reached before and on such a regular basis which really makes us believe that it won’t stop at these speeds.

World Speed Record Attempt Luderutz Challenge 2012

World Speed Record Attempt Luderutz Challenge 2012

The experience that organizers and riders have taken from this part of the Planet has created big international media awareness and a frenzy in speed circle. The little Lüderitz is once again on the “map”. The event has made history and has pushed development & research in the sailing industry since 2007. It is a proving ground for theories and idea. Improvements are made year after year, lots of TV shows as well as specialized magazines and international newspapers have given all the credibility to this community of sailors who have been able to show a brilliant and tenacious side of water sports.

The real “diamond” is the amazing man-made channel, which has been developed by the organizers, which consultation of the Ministry of environment & Tourism, is the fastest water speed-strip in the World, and is regarded as” the center of speed” regarding the results since the beginning of the speed challenge and the historical performances reached during the last 6 weeks.

The concept of the Lüderitz Speed challenge is to take all the best sailors in the World, to put them on a perfect speed strip with the best wind conditions and then let them loose to show what they are capable of. We have seen around 30-40 riders every year displaying great performances as a result of hard work made, persistence, perseverance and dedication, pushing the limits even further. 80% of the performance is from the concept and the efficiency of the channel. This is the place where 50 knots is now a really common achievement (reached by windsurfers and kitesurfers for the 1st time in history) and where the 100 km/h and then the 55 knots were also broken for the very first time in the sailing world: Namibia has the monopoly of the performance.
During November 2012, the windsurfers had 12 good sailing days with relatively light conditions of between 30 and 40 kts of wind (compare to what we can catch), breaking record after record in windsurfing, the Kite surfing World Record Attempt followed during the 2 first weeks of December:
13 Multi-discipline National Records, 3 National Records in Windsurfing and 2 World Records in Windsurfing were broken this year which reveals in total since 6 years:

• 13 Multi-discipline National Records
• 3 National Records in Windsurfing
• 9 Multi-discipline World Records (Male & Female)
• 2 World Records in Windsurfing (Male & Female)

One of the best examples of the the performance of the channel is the new German Multi-discipline Speed Record:
The kitesurfer Jochen Bock who came this year believing in the project, with his personal best speed of 42 knots before this event…
After immediately breaking the German kitesurfing record with 46.6 knots (the German speed record for all sailing disciplines was held by a Windsurfer with 46.75 kts at that time), Jochen Bock smashed it and reached 49.36 kts! 7 knots more than his old best performance!
And, even, if we compare previous speeds achieved, who were the best in the world and made here in strong wind, this year the channel has really revealed its’ magic! In 2010, Rob Douglas needed 45 knots of wind to achieve the world kitesurfing record. This year, Sébastien Cattelan did 53.27 kts in 30-35kts!

The Windsurfer Antoine Albeau broke the World Record in 2008 with 49.09 kts in 60 kts of wind in Saintes-Marie-de- la-mer (France) but did 52.05 kts in 40 kts of wind in Lüderitz.!
Windsurfers have caught up with the kitesurfers and the boats and share the front of the stage now. Everything for the future events looks really promising considering the fact that in Lüderitz everybody goes faster in less wind on those crafts represented here, compared to anywhere else on the planet.

The organizers and some riders have already identified improvements for the channel for next year. We can also anticipate the development of new gears and equipment and the valuable experience after participating in the channel. Should they also catch more wind in 2013, which is a really strong probability in this part of the African coast, we predict the fall of more records and the breaking of the 60 kts barrier quite possible for both disciplines.

The French Kitesurfer Sébastien Salerno has well explained the concept:


Luderitz Speed Challenge kiteboarding speed World Record attempt


The scene is set around the gathering of various kinds of enthusiastic personalities from all over the world at a far-off spot. Surrounded by enchanting desert colors, the universe has created the best conditions to allow this group of privileged persons to push and expand the limits of the possible. Once again this very special place where the time stand still promises glory and the writing of new history… It is this timeless environment which will remain the favorite playground of the adrenalin fighters where the intoxicating “need for speed” and the taste of victory echoes with historic fulfillment …
An exciting and packed adventure where the characters on the fastest spot of the world will discover the power… not of ONE but of THE Canal …
Researched and designed to reach speeds never before imagined, this Canal is the master-feature of this incredible and action-packed story, on which the participants rely and trust, with promising potential.

Luderitz Speed Challenge kiteboarding speed World Record attempt competitor

Luderitz Speed Challenge kiteboarding speed World Record attempt competitor

Who knows, maybe it will be you next year or maybe there is even time for this year??

Luderitz Speed Challenge 2011 from ByAdrienFreville on Vimeo.


What you would need?? :
It’s simple: skills in windsurfing or kitesurfing + having the desire to go fast on the water, the drive to expand your limits and to reach your personal goals (a national record, a personal best time, or even the ultimate record) + stopping at nothing + a spirit to adapt to this context (share the passion with competitors who come to be part of a unique adventure taking place in the middle of a desert and knowing how to face the elements).

Since 2007 records have been smashed successively, performances have increased tremendously and the « Lüderitz Speed Challenge » has become a major event with major media impact. This has progressed the “speed” discipline and has significantly contributed to further development in the Kitesurfing industry. The event organizers, Sébastien Cattelan (European record holder and GPS world record) and Sophie Routaboul (second fastest woman in the world) have here also realized the opportunity for Windsurfing to come back to the main stage and utilize this special location with the best of conditions to express the speed aspects of this sport. After several tests, the report states: the potential is certainly there – THE FAMOUS CANAL FROM LUDERITZ HAS MADE IT’S ENTRANCE…

This next episode in the Namibian Saga will this year again enlarge its casting. Having raised the interest of the biggest names in the sailing world, our idols will be there andmany will join them! We shall meet there those who decide to raise the challenge.

Luderitz Speed Challenge kiteboarding speed World Record attempt competitor

Luderitz Speed Challenge kiteboarding speed World Record attempt competitor


fastest sailors on Planet Earth in Lüderitz Speed Challenge Namibia’s Africa

Gets ready to crown the  fastest sailor

Sebastian catalan speed  world  record  in in  Lüderitz Speed Challenge Namibia's Africa

Sebastian catalan speed world record in in Lüderitz Speed Challenge Namibia's Africa

Fasten your seatbelts. The fastest sailors on Planet Earth are ready for the 2012 Lüderitz Speed Challenge, held in Namibia’s most famous speed strip.


The international speed sailing event has been taking place, since 2007, in the southern coast of the African country and, since then, many national and world records have fallen.

Interestingly, the Lüderitz Speed Challenge is a battle of two fierce and eternal rivals: kiteboarders and windsurfers. This year, it is expected a tougher side-by-side war, as kiteboarding got the Olympic free pass over windsurfing.

The 50-knot speed barrier was broken in Namibia, for the first time ever, by the French bullet Sébastien Cattelan, but the world speed sailing would be broken again.

Right now, the level is very high. The US kiteboarder Rob Douglas holds the title of “fastest sailor on Earth”, having clocked at 55.65 knots with his gear.

Meanwhile, Lüderitz has improved the speed sailing conditions. A new channel has been built to push the limits further improving the conditions of all contestants.

The Lüderitz Speed Challenge 2012 will be one of the most antecipated boardsport events of the year. More than 15 different nationalities will battle for both national records and the ultimate world speed record.

Also, women from England, France, New Zealand and Turkey will compete against each other for the title of “Fastest Female Speed Sailor”. Let the hurricanes blow Lüderitz.


Some quotable quotes and peak speeds:

Hennie Bredenkamp (58 knots): “electric, it’s my best speed ever!”
Alex Caizergues (59.5 knots)
Basil Cambanis (52.5): “I went maybe too late in the water”
Sebastien Cattelan (61.8 knots): “It was spectacular. We hope to push the limits further and maybe to break the outright record again. The dream gave me wings to run the event and motivated me to ride like never before.”
Sophie Routaboul (40 knots)
Charlotte Consorti (43 knots)