Masters of Speed: for the record
The record attempt will take place with 10 invited competitors on a 1 km man-made canal in Stes. Maries de la Mer in the South of France from October 20th - December 4th 2003 and from February 5th - April 30th 2004, with another option for the fall of 04'. This is the ideal time to harness the energy generated by the famous Mistral winds and this location is proven with four outright world records since the mid-eighties. At present an Australian hydrofoil, Yellow Pages, holds the record at 46.52 knots since 1993.
This gathering of experienced veterans and keen amateurs focuses on wanting to first break the existing record and then chase the elusive fifty-knot barrier (57mph / 93 km/hr avg. over 500M), creating a marketing opportunity that will extend well beyond the realm of sailing. Sailors include Thierry Bielak, who held the outright record of 45.32 knots before Yellow Pages in 1993, and Finian Maynard, who is the 4-time defending Speed World Champion.
The French Trench: Proven
The 'Canal', as it is known to the sailors, is the unmistakable location where today's windsurfing technology has the potential to explore the unknown depths of speed. The trench itself is 1,100 meters long with a width of 15 meters.
There are three overlapping, 500 M courses on each side accommodating the four quadrant wind directions. NW, N/NE, SW & SE. The two most favourable directions are the widely known 'Mistral', which blows from a N/NE direction and the 'Le Grec', which blows from the SE. This was the wind direction of Thierry Bielak's record run of 45.34 knts. in 1993.
The Canal will be moulded and cared for by Christophe Simian, who is very experienced collaborating record attempts in Stes. Maries and all potentially fast times will be officially ratified by the WSSRC, who will have an observer on hand.
Undoubtedly the most experienced and accomplished man to run in Stes. Maries, Thierry has set three outright world records on the 'ditch' and still holds the windsurfing record at 45.34 knots. Still strong and able, he will be a force on the modern equipment.
Best results :
3-time World Record holder:- 1991 (twice) & 1993
Known as 'La Glisse', Jose has set himself a strong reputation for going very fast on flat water so the 'Canal' will make this talent shine. Jose is capable of breaking the record and has been vice-world champion several times. ('98,'99,'00)
Best Results :
3-time Vice-World Champion ('98,'99,'00)
An all-round speed sailor with the size and ability to make fast runs, David is a native of the South of France and is used to the hard conditions of the region. David has the experience and equipment to get it right and be there at the finish with the best time.
Several Top 10 results in Leucate Mondial du Vent ('98 - '01)
Martin van Meurs
The Dutch speed champion, Martin is taking part to go after his national record and maybe a go at the big one. He has solid support and will be equipped to run in the best conditions.
Dutch Speed Champion '02
Rudiger joins two of his countrymen in this personal quest to run on the famous Canal and go for the German National record. Already with experience, he should have a lot of fun.
First Amateur Speedweek Denmark : 1.Place 1986
Port St.Louis German Record at this time : 39,28 Kn
With four straight Speed titles to his name and with a solid background in PWA Formula, Speed and Slalom racing, Finian is motivated to run on the 'Canal' to try and push the envelope of speed with the other fast sailors in attendance.
4-time defending Speed World Champion
Robert is famous the world over for his crazy style and great attitude towards achieving goals others might shy away from. He has always been extremely fast in very strong wind so this is the ultimate test for Robert to let it all hang out on the speed course in Saintes Maries.
Vice Overall PBA World Champion 1993
Top 5 PBA/PWA for over 10 years
While we try to surpass the unthinkable 50 knot barrier, Erik was the first man to break the once unthinkable 40 knot barrier in 1988 and held the outright record for 2 years. Erik still has a passion for speed and sails regularly on his home island of Maui.
World Record Holder '88 @ 40.48 knots
With many current successes in Formula racing and a background in speed with competition in Leucate, Wojtek is fast and has the knowledge to tune his equipment to get the most from the situations that he will face on the Canal.
Formula World Champion '99, '00
Euro-Cup Champion '01, '03
Production Slalom World Champion
Henrik Klagges is 35 and from Munich, Germany. He has been a passionate windsurfer since the early nineties. Speed sailing in St. Maries has been one of his life goals: "Fuerte is o.k., but this, this is the real thing", he says.
For more information and speed times, check out the Masters of Speed website at www.mastersOfSpeed.com