Luderitz Speed Challenge , Namibia ,Tuesday, Nov 16. Day 30 ,Race day results & commentary. wind south (Namibian Name SAWI) 25-30. The Sawi ramped quickly, and when Faz & I arrived the pits were a buzz with activity. We had been in record attempt Cruze mode and had to get our asses in gear like pronto. All the front runners had already rigged 2 sails each and were hopping to go. As soon as the first times flashed on the score board it was obviously the fastest day so far, Mallon 49 kt to Twan’s first run of 47kt, the world upside down! Things soon settled down with the front of the pack running 49-50 knot runs. I was expecting it to keep ramping to 51-52-53 but the wind stabilized at 30 - 35 knots / 20 sec average, with gusts on the corner in the 40 - 45 knot range.
Bjorn made the most of arguably the biggest puff of the day to pip the rest by .35 of a knot at 51.29 He put in a great performance, now the size of a small mountain and looking like an express train coming down the run. Think he is 110 kg at the moment. Twan & Hans tapped out a whole pile of 49-50 knot runs duking it out for 2nd-3rd places, making these sort of speeds look irritatingly easy. Gunnar, still recovering from stomach bug was a little of his form in 4th, along with Andy & Jim rounding out the 49 knot runners. Torsten Maillon’s first fun was video checked and adjusted down to 48.98, he was hellbent on improving his time, perhaps looking for that illusive first 50 knot run. It was not to be, crashing hard around lunch time, details are sketchy but sounds like he span out, caught the rail of the board and smashed into and perhaps through his rig breaking his nose. Unknown weather he is in any condition to continue racing. The run was closed for some time while Torsten was evacuated to hospital, the wind gradually softening. The times of the early running would not be bested. Faz , by his account had a bit of a frustrating day, swapping between a couple of sail choices and seemingly out of phase with the Sawi’s gust cycle. Harold was very pleased to break the 50 knot peak speed barrier, a personal goal, along with a PB of 47.02 / 500M a stout speed for a first trip to Luderitz. The only other sub 90 kg rider Oisín van Gelderen was out nursing a broken foot bone, hopfully to race Thursday. As for myself, rigged my 4.8M RS12 Pryde sail first and stuck with the simple plan of piling on more lead. My first decent run was 46 kt with 6 kg lead ballast and on the return trailer ride, Andy remarked that I was starting so easily and looked to be too light. Replaying the run in my head, easy start, hook in, straps, sheet in across the corner,, gust, get lifted, sheet out a fraction. He was correct.Adding another 4kg, now leaded up to 10 kg, and the trailing edge section of wing suit for more floatation I tee off another run. Good start, good gust in the corner, no lift, feel the difference in righting moment right away, steady wind thru the middle and big puff the last 200m to spit me out the bottom of the canal at 51 kt v max for a 48.27 kt run. Pleased to finally post up a descent time, I add 1kg of Faz’s spare lead ( already wearing all of mine) and head back to the start box. The wind has softened fractionally and cannot jump start. Frustrated I shed the extra lead but by now the Sawi is in siesta mode , softening to 25kt occasional 30kt, the window of opportunity has passed. All in all a good days racing, at dinner, the racers pile into Diaz cafe, all smiles, recounting the days exploits, frustrations. Twan asks how my day went, reply:48.3, he smirks and brags about how easy it was for him to tap out 50 knot runs… No respect these young guns…. I remark “ you guys are 30-35% or 1/3 heavier than me, imagine racing against a guy who weighs 135kg “ Twan goes quiet. With 48.27 / 500M I become the second fastest sub 80 kg guy, fastest being Laurent Fra-66 / Laurent Fonzy at LSC 2015, at 48.45, 75KG + 6kg lead. Along with my 2015 49.76 for fastest under 90 kg (83kg at the time) Are perhaps 2 of the 3 fastest performances for middle weight riders.(please message me if you or a friend has done better official speed and happy to amend this statement) For this I take satisfaction, in my dreams and imagination, I can always compete with the big boys, but this is above all else a power sport, in boxing there’s a saying: “ a good big un will always beat a good small un” As frustrating as this may be, it holds true in speed sailing as well.
12 competitors started, 111 runs
rank sail name [s] [km/h] [knots]
1 E-11 Bjoern Dunkerbeck 18.987 94.99 51.29
2 NED-127 Twan Verseput 19.111 94.37 50.96
3 NED-85 Hans Kreisel 19.190 93.99 50.75
4 GER-2 Gunnar Asmussen 19.493 92.53 49.96
5 GER-93 Andy Laufer 19.521 92.39 49.89
6 K-33 Jim Crossley 19.597 92.03 49.69
7 GER-818 Torsten Mallon 19.883 90.71 48.98
8 K-5 Erik Beale 20.175 89.40 48.27
9 K-81 Farrel OShea 20.457 88.17 47.61
10 NED-71 Harald Claessen 20.712 87.08 47.02
11 GER-215 Thomas Moldenhauer 20.739 86.97 46.96
12 SWE-52 Roger Oernvang 23.025 78.33 42.30