The warm desert winds accelerate through the surrounding hills and on reaching the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean thermal atmospheric pressure creates incredibly high wind speeds.
Statistically the wind blows on average at 35 knots+, at least 3 times a week during the period of the event, often reaching 40-45 knots and sometimes up to 50 to 65 knots of a warm and stable wind
11 years of Research & Development.
Since 2007 all the famous names in speed kiting have achieved their official records at the Luderitz Speed Challenge using the specially developed 500m run which ensures top performances.
Windsurfing legends including Antoine Albeau, Bjorn Dunkerbeck and Anders Bringdal have all performed at the event.
Bjorn believed that after the performances of 2010, Kitesurfers who had broken World Records had achieved this due to the channel. It was obvious to him that windsurfers could also achieve high speeds in those conditions. In 2012, they realized that it was possible to go even faster. Antoine was also surprised at the ease of achieving top speeds in the channel.
2011 WAS THE BEGINNING OF A NEW ERA for this historic project:
Although the newly constructed canal in the Bay in 2010 made a huge difference (The Ultimate Speed sailing World Record was broken!), in 2011 the canal still required improvements to ensure further records, especially in the world of professional windsurfing. The organisers, Sébastien Cattelan and Sophie Routaboul, researched the possibilities of widening and lengthening the canal, thus creating a smoother water surface for faster speeds and deeper water for improved safety
After 12 months of setting up the project and getting authorization, they managed to dig an artificial canal just outside of the Second Lagoon with the support of the Namibian Ministry of Environment & Tourism and the Lüderitz Town Council, thus ensuring the perfect conditions to set new world and national records.
THE LUDERITZ CANAL IS THE BEST SPOT IN THE WORLD TO ACHIEVE PERSONAL BESTS AND TO BREAK RECORDS YEAR ON YEAR!
In 2007, the first Lüderitz Speed Challenge, produced 2nd place in the world speed ranking. In the 2008 Lüderitz Speed Challenge, kite surfers officially became the fastest speed sailors in the world.
2007: 47.92 knots over 500m averages (= 88.6 kph over 500m)
2008: 50.57 knots over 500m averages (= 93.5 kph over 500m)
In 2008, improvements were made to the course (a “chop killer” i.e. a wooden barrier) helped improve the 500m water surface to ensure a smoother slide and increase the wind speed angle, resulting in increased performances (+ 3 knots ).
In 2008, THE ULTIMATE 50 knots (92,6 kph) BARRIER IS BROKEN!
Kiters’ performances during the 2008 Lüderitz Speed Challenge knocked the worlds fastest windsurfer Antoine Albeau (49,09 knots = 90.8kph over 500m) from #1 to #7 in the World Speed Rankings.
In 2009, Innovative Planning delivers GPS world record of
53,06 kts = 98kph over 500 metres! The organizers decided to create a canal alongside the existing 500m speed strip to ensure flatter water and a better wind angle. This decision was made in order to beat the new speed sailing record set by the Hydrofoil « L’HYDROPTERE » of 95kph over 500m average (51,36 knots), which was set 1 month prior to the 2009 Lüderitz event.
Just a few months before the 2009 Lüderitz Speed Challenge, Sébastien Cattelan set a new GPS world record of 53,06 knots (98kph average over 500m) during his training and at the same time, registered the highest top speed ever recorded of almost 61,77 knots (115kph)!
2010 Event delivers new World and 13 new National speed records AND
THE ULTIMATE RECORD IS SMASHED: 55, 65 Knots = 103 kph!
Only two years after the 50 knots barrier was broken, the 55 knot barrier was smashed and the Lüderitz Speed Challenge competitors managed to reclaim the world #1 title from the multi-million euro “L’Hydroptère” sail craft.
2011 Evaluation Event and Windsurfer Anders Bringdal reaches an all new GPS top speed of 50,7 knots = 94 kph!
The legendary windsurfer, Anders Bringdal, participated in a private event as windsurfing consultant to evaluate the new artificial canal, prior to the staging of the 2012 event. The 2012 event, the best ever, attracted the top windsurfers from around the world.
In 2011, 10 Competitors were invited to compete as an evaluating/testing-team and delivered 5 new national records in the process!
2012 EVENT – Speed Sailing History is made…
New Male & Female World Speed Windsurfing Records!
15 National New Records!
7 Windsurfers broke the 50 knots barrier!
Antoine Albeau becomes world’s fastest windsurfer of all time, with 52,05 knots (96.5kph) average over 500m !
2013 EVENT – Largest contingent of global competitors !
60 Riders competed & 11 Different nationalities!
36 NEW National Records achieved!
Years of planning, evaluation, dedicated testing, feedback and improvements, resulted in the 2013 event being watched and followed by thousands of enthusiasts from all over the globe! The Lüderitz Speed Challenge is now the PREMIER speed sailing event in the world!
2014 EVENT – NEW Disabled Kite Surf WORLD RECORD!
34 Riders (Wind & Kite Surfers) & 17 Different nationalities
(Number of competitors limited to facilitate the performances of each rider)
11 x New National Records and 1 x Disabled World Record!
13 competitors exceeded their Personal Bests
The channel has never been this efficient, being improved before and during the event, for riders to attain personal performances never before or elsewhere reached!
2015 HISTORICAL EVENT!
Karin Jaggi, who broke her Swiss Record no less than 7 times, is now the NEW World Record Holder in Windsurfing with an awesome 46.31 kts!
Antoine Albeau, who also set new National French Records, broke his own World Record no less than 5 times in Windsurfing, and finally achieved an astonishing 53.27 kts/98.55kph! (so close to the *monumental* 100kph)
2017 NEW WORLD RECORD!!!
Zara Davis from England broke the World Speed Record, set by Karin Jaggi with an astonishing 46.49knots which is 86.10km/h.
With the remake of the channel, new ideas and different approaches the channel in 2017 did get even faster. The wind forces in Lüderitz this season, where more on the moderate side with 30-40knots. Still we where able to claim 6 national records, 1 world record and a lot of personal bests.
Mio Anayama – Japan – 39.06knots
Norio Asano – Japan – 43.95knots
Miriam Rasmussen – Norway – 42.93knots
Karo van Tonder – South Africa – 38.96knots
Mikkel Asmussen – Denmark – 49.40knots
Roger Örnvang – Sweden – 44.16knots on Kite
Alexandr Goncharov – Ukraina – 47.47knots