Downwind Dash Langebaan
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Downwind Dash Langebaan took place from Saturday January 17 to Sunday January 19 2009 at Langebaan, South Africa.
Africa is home to some of the world’s finest sailing and wind sports accolades. From the recent speed kiting event held in Luderitz, Namibia, which crowned world champions and declared the kite the fastest sailing vessel, to the first stop-over of the grueling Volvo Ocean Race. Home-grown athletes like Sjoukje Bredenkamp grace the world circuits with their presence and bring home outright speed records as they brave the howling winds around the globe.
Downwind Dash Langebaan was a beautiful spok full of colors and activities yesterday, as it played host to the world’s biggest kitesurfing and windsurfing race – the Resolution Downwind Dash in conjunction with the Saldanha Beach Sailing Club and Gust Magazine. The small town’s lagoon was lit up with a splendor of kites and sails, as a record 320 sailors sped their way from Langebaan Main Beach through the 20 kilometer course to the finish at Dial rock, Saldanha.
For the past 22 years, the worlds fastest have gathered in Africa for ultimate racing adventure – the mission from main beach Langebaan to Dial Rock Saldanha (a 17km course). 320 sailors, that was an increase of 102 competitors from last year,, making it once again the worlds biggest kite and windsurf race.
Winning the dash is about the achievement. It’s the sense of satisfaction and the honour of having your plaque on the legendary wheel trophy, alongside some of the world’s finest sailors. The dash favours the local sailor, and offers a great challenge to anyone up for the adventure of exploring the Langebaan lagoon.
Downwind Dash Langebaan beach
The event is now sanctioned by both the International Windsurfing Association (IWA) and the International Kitesurfing Association (IKA) and points count towards the world slalom series. Resolution proudly joined the event, along with support from Redbull and Voila Travel there was a handsome prize purse of R70 000 in cash and travel vouchers. With the points and great prizes available, the event drew the attention of some of the worlds best sailors such as five times world freestyle champion Aaron Hadlow (UK), Sebastien Cattelan (FRA) – first sailor to ever break the 50knot barrier, Alex Caizergues (FRA) – outright world speed record holder, Sjoukje Bredenkamp (RSA) – outright women world speed record holder, world champion slalom windsurfer Ross Williams (UK), and Ben Moussilmani. There were a host of international riders and a whole spread between professionals, families, amateurs, girls, guys, kids and characters like pirates and team Primi Piatti. Everybody finished with smiles on their faces and the personal battles that went on amongst friends to see who would make it to the end first was enjoyed by all.
Sjoukje Bredenkamp Pumping her kite at Downwind Dash Langebaan beach
There are a host of brands and sponsors who are working closely together with the Saldanha Bay Sailing Club to continue to grow the event over the coming years. Resolution Health’s partner, Voila Travel has generously sponsored a prize purse of travel vouchers to the winners, as well as Red Bull hosting the energy centre, the NSRI, Hunters Dry and Club Mykonos. More details of the prizes will follow shortly.
Official results will only be released later this week, they should be on the Gust Magazine website – www.gustmagazine.com
Some other photos from the event (Photos @ Sjoukje Bredenkamp) :
From left: Sjoukje Bredenkamp, Alex Caizergues & Sebastien Cattelan
Downwind Dash Langebaan Beach
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