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Kite Power Preps to Beat Records on the Open Ocean

Powered by nothing more than a kite, back in 2008 at the Lüderitz Speed Challenge in Namibia, French rider Sébastien Cattelan was clocked at a speed of 50.26 knots, or 93.08 km/h. That astonishing achievement secured a page in kiteboarding’s history for Catellan, as he was the first sailor to break the 50 knots barrier.

When a world record in speed sailing is set, others will want to break it. Alex Caizergues broke Cattelan’s record just one day later with a 50.57 knots run. Then in November 2009 he broke his own record with a 50.98 knots run.

American kiteboarder Rod Douglas is the current record holder for speed sailing. He went to Lüderitz in Namibia, a stretch of very shallow water that’s 8 to 15 centimeters deep, with the aim of breaking the record. He needed to go over 52.86 knots to set a new word speed record – he managed an impressive 55.65 knots run, broke the record, and became the fastest man on water.

Kite power is great for breaking speed sailing records on stretches of shallow water such as Lüderitz in Namibia. Out on the open ocean though, traditional rigs still reign supreme. As of yet, records out on the open ocean have not been set using kite power – but that is about to change.

Kite BoatKiteboarding pioneer Don Montague aims to take kite power out to the open ocean and show the world that by using the right gear and by exploiting high altitude winds, boats can be powered using kites. Montague is confident that kite power has what it takes to dethrone traditional rigs, so he is working and putting a lot of effort into making it possible to use kite power to break speed sailing records out on the ocean.

You can see Montague’s latest, cutting edge, kite-powered creation by clicking the image in the related videos section below. Double Olympic Gold Medalist Shirley Robertson meets up with Don Montague to check out and go for a ride on his kite-powered creation. After sailing at about 27 knots and having a very pleasurable time, Shirley could see kite power’s potential to power boats out on the open ocean and to break sailing speed records.


Fastest man on the water by CNN_International