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Kiter Takes Back Sailing Speed Record

Frenchman Alex Caizergues once again reclaimed the title of world’s fastest human under sail.

Luderitz Speed Challenge
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

On Tuesday French kiter Alex Caizergues reclaimed the mantle of "fastest under sail" at the Luderitz Speed Challenge in Namibia. Reaching a top speed of 54.1 knots, Caizergues one-upped fellow countryman Alain Thébault and his foiling trimaran L’Hydroptere, which set a benchmark of 51.36 knots a little over a year ago, besting Caizergues’ 2008 run of 50.57 knots. Although 54.1 knots is freakin’ incredible — not to mention scary — in our minds the record carries a few qualifiers. First of all, Luderitz is a 700-ft-long, straight, man-made canal that has a depth of three feet or less, while Hyères, France, has water navigable by proper boats. Second, while the drag-racer style kiteboards are essentially free relative to the cost of a proper foiling tri like L’Hydroptere, they don’t go upwind particularly well, or have any offshore capability. Third, L’Hydroptere‘s record was set in just 28 knots of breeze, while Caizergues had breeze in the low 40s. If you’re a L’Hydroptere fan, fret not, Thébault and his team have just launched their new 35-ft, half-size trail horse for a G-class foiler that they plan on tackling the Jules Verne with.

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