Its Official – Kite Surfers set Outright speeds

8 12 2008

‘Alexandre Caizergues Speed World Cup Port St. Louis’   

Backed into a logical corner, it seems that ISAF have realised they had no choice but to recognise Kite surfing records with the same status as other ISAF classes, so the new outright worlds speed record over 500 metres is now 50.57 knots.

 

John Reed the Secretary to the WSSR Council writes ‘‘We have been informed by the International Sailing Federation – ISAF – that they will support a decision by the WSSRC to ratify a claim for the Outright World Sailing Speed Record by a Kite-board. 
‘In accordance with this, the WSSRC announces the ratification of a new World Record.’

Record: Outright World Sailing Speed Record.
Board: Fone Prototype Speed. Fone Bandit Dos Speed 7sq m kite.
Name: Alexandre Caizergues. FRA
Dates: 4th October 2008.
Start time: 15:35:00.84
Finish time: 15:35:20.06
Elapsed time: 19.22
Distance: 501m
Current: 0.1kts
Average speed: 50.57kts
Venue: Luderitz, Namibia.
Previous record: 2008. Sebastien Cattelan. 50.26 kts

Here is the footage from that record run.

 

The Council of the International Sailing Federation at their November 2008 had ruled that Kite surfing records could not be recognised as outright records.

The comment on the WSSRC website posted after the November meeting says, at the end of a note ratifying the record of Sebastien Cattelan at 50.26kts as being that of a Kiteboarding record only and adds: ‘Note that at the November Conference 2008, ISAF clarified that a kite-powered craft cannot be recognised as the holder of The World Sailing Speed Record.’ A source close to the World Sailing Record Council told Sail-World that they did not understand the ISAF decision and were seeking an urgent meeting with the world body to resolve the issue.

Sail-World’s New Zealand, Richard Gladwell commented at the time of the original decision:

‘ One problem is that the history of kites in the world of speed sailing is long, and goes back to the 1970’s with craft called Jacob’s Ladder which was essentially a Tornado platform powered by a set of kites which could be multiplied to suit the windstrength.

 

This kite powered craft held the record on a 500-metre course (235 sq. ft. to 300 sq. ft. class) for six years with a speed of 25 knots. 
The ISAF decision was even more difficult to understand when the rules of the WSSRC state: ‘A yacht shall sail by using only the wind and water to increase, maintain or decrease her speed’. Maybe ISAF doesn’t consider a kiteboarder to be ‘a yacht’, but if that is the case why are they accepting records from kiteboards as a category at all?

The logical problem for ISAF was how can your sport be under the auspices of the International SAILING Federation, but that same sport not be eligible for Outright SPEED SAILING records ratified by that world body.

 

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