It is well known that windsurfers are probably the most loyal and passionate sportsmen when you compare with other sporting disciplines. But it is something special that has to be engrained in the mind to have the ability to go outside in winds that are below zero degrees centigrade, over 40knots and hook yourself into your equipment that drags you at lightning speeds across knee deep water. It wouldn’t be fair to say that the speedies are the adrenaline junkies of the windsurfing world but you could say that they were on an equal platform. Considering the variables that straying downwind can put you in chop that will make the board feel like jelly or some of the locations require you to hang outboard over solid concrete walls, it’s a pretty fair to say that this group of people fall somewhere into the slightly mental category.
Angelo Pecere, the visionary behind Ghost of Speed let us have this snippet about the movie and gallery of images from a photo shoot at The Brace.
“…11am, the tide is still high and we cannot go anywhere, so I dedicate the time to take pictures for a time-lapse, intended to portray in the film “Ghosts of Speed” the fall of the tide and open the way to the sea, as if Moses was there to guarantee us to surf. There is more than one mile to walk, with board and sail in hand, sinking in mud up to the knees. The way to go is fine; we are fresh, with 30 knots of wind behind. They all go easily, helped by the wind on their backs, while I have to walk the route with a heavy backpack and cameras. The return journey is another story... 40 knots of wind hitting you straight on, it was very difficult for them to carry their boards and sails, after hardcore windsurfing and with the tide pushing on your neck...
I’m half way to the water, I see them from afar, gathered in groups to discuss the tide and mounting fins to the boards. Dylan De Jong jumps into the water with caution and tests the path, others curiously look on, the bottom is good and the twelve inches of water near the sandbar are sufficient to ensure full speed safely enough. The runs begin, with an easy wind around 30 knots but bad chop on the upwind to return to the starting point.
I’m happy, it’s an honor to be here together, in one of the toughest and most exclusive spots in this country. I also realize the inconvenience, however, if somebody crashes badly here. When the tide goes up it is impossible to go back on the shoulders of someone and, to be rescued by helicopter, it can take a good hour. Time enough for the tide, to let you be amid the currents of the North Sea that creeps in between the islands... I do not think anymore. Better that way. I reject the thoughts and prepare the 70-200mm for the first shots from the sand…
At the end of the day Jurjen van der Noord broke his personal best and made the speed record in Dutch water: Max speed (2 sec) 48.15 knots and AVG (5x10 sec) 46.76 knots. New personal best also for Johan Huitema (max 45.37 knots) and Manfred Malcorps (max 42.83).”
Speedsurfers in the pictures: Jurjen van der Noord, Dylan De Jong, Manfred Malcorps, Johan Huitema, Ferdinand Rikkers, John Tuyn, Gerlof Hansma, Anne Evert van der Ven.
A final note from Angelo:
The project will carry on from here, all the Dutch speed-teams have confirmed their cooperation and with weather conditions getting better and better, more and more shooting session will take place. There will be some new revolutionary coverage in the movie, with action shots including real-time GPS speeds, Gforce during the jibes and heart-rates of the surfers, provided by the new GoBandit Live, one of the official sponsors of the project. Stay tuned!'
All photos by Angelo Pecere