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IPFS News Link • Entertainment: Outdoor Recreation

Albeau sets new world windsurfing record at Luderitz Speed Challenge


French windsurfer Antoine Albeau beat his own mark to lift the 500-meter (1,640-ft) record up over 53 knots. 

The Chris Benz Lüderitz Speed Challenge is not your average event, even in the above-average world of world speed-record chasing. Inland from the breezy coastlines where you'd expect to find people windsurfing and kiteboarding, the event takes place on an artificial 1-km-long (0.62-mile-long) strip of water in the middle of the Namib Desert. And it runs for weeks on end. 

Sometimes called the Lüderitz Speed Channel, the "fast channel" used for the annual gathering of sailing speed hounds was purpose-designed for speed record-level windsurfing and kitesurfing by French kitesurfer Sébastien Cattelan. Cattelan became the first to break 50 knots (92.6 km/h, 57.5 mph) when he piloted his kite rig to 50.26 knots (93.08 km/h, 57.8 mph) on the Lüderitz channel in October 2008, the second year of the Speed Challenge. Many others have set world and national records on the channel over the years.