27 times National Windsurfing Champion - Oisín van Gelderen (Dublin) - has smashed the Irish Sailing Speed Record twice during his first two days competing at the 'Luderitz Speed Challenge' in Namibia, Africa.
Van Gelderen has joined the fastest sailors in the world at this event to make an attempt at the Windsurfing World Record (53.27 knots / 98.6 kmph), currently held by French Sailor Antione Albeau.
Van Gelderen’s top speed, of 46.21 knots (85.6 kph) average over 500m, was achieved on his second day participating at the event, in winds gusting 90 kph (Beaufort Force 9 - Strong to Severe Gale). The Luderitz course ( a canal dug in a lagoon at the edge of the desert) has been specially designed to take advantage of the gale to storm force winds common in this part of Africa.
Van Gelderen's goal is to become the first Irish Sailor to break the 50 knots barrier (93 kph), and set an official WSSRC Irish Sailing Speed Record over 50 knots.
The five week event continues until 25th November, with the next strong to severe gale force winds forecast for later next week, when Van Gelderen expects to further improve his speed.
Credit for photo to Stefan Csasky