21/11/2017 – Alberto Possati (Starboard, Severne) pulls stock of its experience on the subject of Luderitz Speed Challenge 2017:
“There is little to do. Whenever you come back is different. Every time you walk up to the moment when you have to leave the water and throw you downwind full in the channel, more than doubling your speed in a matter of meters, your brain recommends you be still, attentive. Made the first run, that inaugural, after it gets a little easier, certain. However, you feel that for those 40 seconds is better not to make mistakes.
Luderitz Speed Challenge 2017. Being here is a privilege: We all know (or at least imagine) costs related to a transfer of at least one week (but two or three are always better) in a place so remote. The costs are very high. Starting from Italy, you get to Cape Town, and from there you drive to 1150Km up, precisely, to Luderitz, Karas region, Namibia. Place of passage for all tourists visiting these areas but, If you spent a little longer periods, hides its own charm, very particular.
The Channel, artificial, sits on the beach in one of the bays near the city, and can be reached in a few minutes by car. Its shape, at boomerang, allows starting from water abeam, then open the pace until a backlash that ensures maximum travel speed. The wind, Depending on the day can vary by 15-20 degrees in the direction, therefore providing different angles involving different travel channel conditions: Sometimes, during run, you are the wind quite abeam, other times you're downwind full full, also too.
The Lüderitz Speed Challenge is not a race, This must be clear: is an attempt to record. Everyone is there to improve himself, to arrive at average speeds on the 500 m ever achieved before. And in this sense the channel, I can tell, always carries out its function: Whoever I remember seeing the various editions of the LSC has got his PB (personal best). Which incidentally is not measured with GPS, but with special equipment which the WSSRC (World Speed Sailing Record Council, international body responsible for certification of land speed record for sailing vessels) must have approved. As a result of this, at the end of event you always get an official certificate attesting to our best average speed about 500 m. That's your, you made it, and no one can take from you. Great satisfaction, no?
But there's something more. Is there anything special in coming here. Channel knows veterans. For almost all of us, regardless of skill level, return here every year means many things. Mutual aid, for example. If you need anything (an extension cord? Or a fin … or a trapezoid!), especially if you're personable and reasonably polite, you will have several people that will help you. Because that's the spirit.
Being here means you'll also be often together, in the evening. And share emotions, ideas, recommendations. Places to dine are 3 or 4, so it's not hard to find. And on these occasions, the "beginners" will always get advice from the Veterans. Free. And when you are in the channel, those same people you were with the night before to help you, We will encourage, you will be greeted with, and you'll do with them.
In addition, We are a group of 16 ~ 18 people in the middle of nowhere, or almost, and the team spirit that you can create in these conditions is really something special. seriously.
In 5 editions of the LSC at which I took part, I could improve my performance every single year, except the latter. This is related to the conditions, for me a bit to read than the other years. My 47, 11kn/500 m this year, resists, but I would take it further out into the 50. And I do.
However, the Edition 2017 saw many confirmations and even some surprise, among athletes present. No veteran, so far, He improved his performance from previous years (but it is still a week at the end of the event). But some new athlete did sparks.
Among girls, the wonderful performance of Miriam Rasmussen (Loftsails, CHRIS BENZ Watches, ZULU FINS, Unifiber Windsurfing Equipment, GlideSoul, Surfers.no) that a true rookie has however brought home a 43. xx on 500 m who has impressed all.
Robert Hoffman (Starboard, Loft Sails), in this case with the German colors, He rattled off an impressive 50.01 kn/500 m which is really very impressive in many ways. If I'm not mistaken, are still 13 people who have more than 50 knots on 500 m, and he is now one of these. And it's not heavy 110 kg. Great performance!
Twan Verseput (Prolimit, Starboard, Severne), young Dutch talent 24 years, After the world title of Speed at Dunkerbeck Speed Challenge 2016 you bring home a 50, 03kn/500 m, that could further improve in the last week of the race. Big Twan.
And then there is Mr. Ben Proffitt (Simmer Style, O’Shea, Funsports, Gul), voice and anchorman of Windsurfing.tv and an explosion of vitality and constant cheerfulness … with its 80 kg scarce took home 48, xx knots on 500 m, with tip over 50. And, by experienced and enthusiastic waver, He confessed that never would have thought that the speed was so … wonderfully fun and exciting.
Here's. The Speed is fun, It is exciting. One thinks: "what can be the sake of doing 40 seconds downwind windsurfing full, getting loaded on a cart, return to the top of the channel … with snowboard goggles, helmet, 10kg of lead in life jacket?!?”. The taste is there, Trust me. When you hear the flat water "FRY" on the hull of your table by speed, 42cm wide and 50 litres volume, and the channel becomes extremely close … the emotion that you feel is serious stuff. Seeing is believing.”
text: Alberto Possati 4 www.RIWmag.com
photo: Alberto Possati, Robert Hofmann, Ben Proffitt, Zara, Davis, Miriam Rasmussen, Kimberly Dunkerbeck
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