Photos: Stefan Csaky and Vincent Valkenaers

 

53.38 knots on the 500 m run
56.04 knots GPS top speed = 103,78 km/h
Vincent Valkenaers wins the 2019 Luderitz speed event !

Vincent Valkenaers BEL-62 reports about the Luderitz Speed Event and his great results:

Before the event I had a really good year of speed sailing. Almost every month I could do really fast sessions to train for the world record. In June there was the Prince of Speed competition in La Franqui where I broke the open water 500m (46.93 kts) world record. I also won the competition.

Just before leaving to Luderitz, I had a really fast session in La Franqui and I felt ready for Luderitz and in tune with my gear. I had only one goal on my trip to Namibia: Being the fastest windsurfer!

After my arrival I could do some training sessions on the canal in „light“ wind. There, I got the feel for the canal but there was still some work to do: Fine-tuning all the material and working on my stance to push harder. The canal needed some work, too, we tried to make it a little bit better. Finally, all we could do was waiting for the right day with strong winds. In advance of this day, I went to Diaz Point because there, it also blows hard.

A few days later, the forecast improved. We were getting excited and fully focused to prepare all the gear, deciding which sails to rig and which boards and fins to mount.

With Jacques Van Der Hout I had a really good conversation the day before D-day. He helped me to believe that everything is possible, and gave me a lot of confidence. My friends and family always supported me and that was a really nice feeling.

Finally the day had arrived with lots of wind. I was fully focused and on full attack mode. I rigged my smallest and fastest Evo sails. The day started with a test run and my decision to wait for the conditions to improve. After waiting for one hour, speeds where improving again.

Then, the wind was picking up really fast, so, I decided to take my 5.2 and started to push. Every run was going faster, not only ‘500m’, but every run my ‘10sec’ where higher and higher, too. I knew it had to happen today.

But starting became a more and more tricky, especially with 16 kg of led on your back and a really small board. After 3 bad starts, I nailed the 4th: In an instant, I was hooked-in quickly in the harness lines and my feet settled in the straps, just in time to take a massive gust all the way down the canal. BAM 53.38 on 500m on my GPS and 56.04 top speed… I was surprised and so happy to see this on the GPS! Everybody was really happy for me.

The conditions were dropping fast, I tried a few more runs but it was over for the day. Waiting for the results seemed endless… Late in the evening came the message from Raffi that it were 53.25 knots – so, I just missed the world record! In the beginning I was a bit disappointed. But hey: I had really great results, especially for my age! I did the fastest top speed ever – so, I’m the fastest windsurfer ever and that makes me super happy!

After a few days without wind and some rest, I was hoping for another big day – but it never came… In the end, I scored the fastest speed of the 2019 event.  Currently, I’m super motivated and I will keep going until I break the official record: I’m really hungry for it now!

With his top speed of 51.6 kn @500m Andy Laufer GER-93 was one of the fastest riders this year. His video shows how it looks throught the rider’s eyes doing more than 90 km/h.