No measuring officials on hand - new world record not WSSRC ratified
For most of the past decade, the world speed sailing record has been held by windsurfers. But it would appear kite-surfing is on the verge of overtaking the board sailors and, unofficially, the 50-knot barrier has already been broken.
On 26 January in Westerhever, Germany, 46 year old German kitesurfer Tilmann Heinig was recorded at an average speed of 50.9 knots over a distance of 500 metres, according to a report on the Daily Sail website. However the record will not be ratified because: the handheld GPS Heinig used does not meet the accuracy standards required by the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSRC), and there was no course defined – another WSSRC requirement.
However the record is accepted by various kite-surfing community websites and has been published in several German newspapers.
An open letter was published on the Daily Sail website by Markus Schwendtner on behalf of the International Speed Windsurfing Class and the GPS-Speedsurfing Community:
“This incident obviously challenges the ISAF and WSSRC very basically, questioning their right to exist, and directly attacks the current WSSRC world record holders, compromising their efforts to gain a ISAF/WSSRC recognized world record. It also directly affects their financial status and efforts.”
French windsurfer Finian Maynard holds the current outright sailing speed record of 48.7 knots over a timed 500-meter course. The record was set at “Le Canal” near Saintes Maries de la Mer in 2005.