There is a monumental occasion coming up in the windsurfing calendar. It is that time where the fastest men in the world meet at a small canal in the depths of Namibia to see who can clock the fastest speed ever reached on a windsurfer.

DCIM100GOPRO

For those who were hiding in a hole last year, the world record was smashed, smashed again and then smashed some more by not just one, two or three speed windsurfers, but in fact a whole host of them. The final record reached was in excess of 52 knots by the now PWA Slalom champion that is Antoine Albeau. Amongst the elite crew was Jurjen Van Der Noord, perhaps a name not quite so familiar as the PWA slalom riders like Antoine and Bjorn Dunkerbeck, but certainly a name you should set within your mind. This man has held third spot ever since the record breaking runs last year and what's more is that he tells Boardseeker that he thinks he has it in him to beat the outright record this time around...

We would enter the last past of the trench at almost 53 knots... kit was destroyed, completely obliterated... Zara Davies ended up with over 50 stitches

So what does Jurjen have to overcome? Well last year thousands and thousands of Euros worth of kit ended up completely disintegrated as the sailors made every effort to stop before the water ran out, on top of that more than 50 stitches were required amongst the crew and several broken ribs were covered up in an attempt to beat the guy in front. We caught up with Jurjen for a skype date to find out everything that the budding speedster needs to know about life in the canal.

However, before we speak with the man himself here is a quick Luderitz 2013 factfile.

Record Breaking period: 7th October - 17th November

Amateurs holding period (previous speed of 48 knots or less) dates: First two weeks

Professionals holding period (previous speed over 48 knots): Final four weeks

Number of people required to create the canal: 5

Canal setup time: 2 months

Canal season: 2 months

Canal length: A little over 500m

Canal depth: 30cm

Canal width: 5m

Entry fee: €1000 a week

SMA_7305

Page 2: Training and preparations for Luderitz '13

Page 3: Luderitz changing

Page 4: Only 95% good last year, what could happen if it is 100% this year?

Page 5: 60 knots

Page 6: Jurjen and the PWA

Page 7: Speed for Dummies

Page 8: Jurjen the world speed champion

Page 9: Final words

Training and preparations for Luderitz '13

1239173_549706531743829_1286013458_o

After last year I was motivated to train as much as possible, on water time is key

377279_415249058522911_915062349_n

On top of this I did a large amount of trimming, adjustments to the sails, boards but mainly the fins and sails. I've been working with Severne to fine tune the sails specifically for the speed challenge, giving them my feedback so that I'm happy when I reach Luderitz.

Luderitz changing

We would enter the last past of the trench at almost 53 knots... kit was destroyed, completely obliterated... Zara Davies ended up with over 50 stitches

Jurjen van der Noord

The most important change to the speed canal this year is the braking area. Last year there were some pretty serious crashes as people collided with the beach at almost full speed. We would enter the last past of the trench at almost 53 knots sometimes and there just wasn't the space, kit was destroyed, completely obliterated and Zara Davies ended up with over 50 stitches by the time she left! It made going fast feel less scary when you knew you were hurtling towards this stopping area the size of a tennis court and with no brakes. We had just two seconds to decelerate, it was extremely dangerous, three people went home with broken ribs. I'm afraid that maybe this year could be worse because there are more people there but luckily they made the stopping area a little bit bigger. However, there is a small hill in the way so actually it can never be big enough, so there is still a certain level of danger to it.

Patrik Diethelm was one of the guys who managed to master the stopping last time, almost by accident as he came in and got a huge gust which threw him into a lay down 360, suddenly his eyes lit up. It was certainly a technique that was capitalised on by as many of the competitors as possible who could do it.

Only 95% good last year, what could happen if it is 100% this year?

...last weekend the canal had 60 knots... I'm sure a few people would go over 53 knots.

SMA_8360

Last year we had a wind speed peak of 40-45 knots, this only lasted for about 10 to 15 minutes so just a few guys were lucky enough to experience that 95%. However, the canal is actually really really quick with just 40 knots of wind, it is something quite unique. The old canal we used to do our runs in in France would require nearly 55 knots of wind for us to reach similar speeds of around 48 knots.

That said, last year wasn't ideal, especially as we had heard from Anders Bringdal, who had been there the previous year, that he had had wind speeds of up to 60 knots. Interestingly just last weekend the canal had 60 knots, so it's looking more promising again this year.

If we get that when the pros are there, it could really be possible that we smash the world record again. It's not going to be a huge jump because the equipment is evolving at a slower speed, but still there is easily the potential to go faster. If we had winds of 50 knots for a couple of days, this would give us the chance to get used to these conditions and I'm sure a few people would go over 53 knots.

60 knots

It is quite possible that these could help us get much bigger records in the future...

1149350_543142855733530_181225253_o

This year that won't happen, the material, our equipment is so advanced right now that it is hard to improve it. It still evolves year on year, the changes and developments become more slight but they are noticeable to the top speeds.

We actually had some ideas we borrowed from the America's Cup challenge that took place in San Francisco recently, but we haven't had the time to produce all of these ideas for the Luderitz this year. It is quite possible that these could help us get much bigger records in the future...

Jurjen and the PWA

...I'm looking to join the PWA next year

1

I've not competed on the PWA before but this year I already consider it, unfortunately my board sponsor change didn't allow it, but I'm looking to join the PWA next year. My speed is good enough, I'm happy with it, my gybes are fine, I think I really need to work on starts. Working out timings and hitting that start gate like I've just exited the closing gate of the Luderitz trench will take some practice. This said I've got a pretty good coach to help me - Anders Bringdal.

Speed for Dummies

SMB_1317

There are two types of timing. In normal sailing I use GPS, in Luderitz we use the video timing. For GPS windsurfing there is a huge following and all the info you could wish for on www.gps-speedsurfing.com it is certainly worth checking out. It has huge advantages, you can read the speed live straight from the display, which you wear on your arm whilst sailing. Later you can upload all the tracking info onto your computer to see where you peaked, where your fastest average was, how far you travelled, etc.. etc... It is also really great that you can instantly compare it to your friends which can introduce a bit of friendly competition every time you sail.

In Nambia we use the video timing which is just a fraction more accurate. To be honest the differences are very little, last year I compared my GPS run with the video timing on a number of occasions and the outcome was that there was only 0.01 knots difference. It's a very small difference but still big enough for the record council who will only accept official world titles from video timing.

The only issue with this method is that it is expensive and not very flexible. You need 2 people to run it, one person is on the front reading speeds, whilst the other acts as the judge. They are quite expensive so you can't really do that option everywhere and that is where GPS comes in use.

Jurjen the world speed champion

I was less than a knot behind Antoine Albeau and let's just say I really feel like I have another knot in me for this year

325902_398150436899440_1789324089_o

Last year was really great for me, to come 3rd was exciting but I certainly have a taste for more. I was less than a knot behind Antoine Albeau and let's just say I really feel like I have another knot in me for this year, the question is; how much does Antoine have in him, or Anders, or Bjorn Dunkerbeck?

We certainly can't rule out Dunkerbeck, last year he had a spate of bad luck in the trench and only managed to be here for 2 weeks. This year he is on sit the whole time, he hasn't had the best results on the PWA so he must be pretty motivated to prove himself right now. I think he is the one to watch out for.

Final words

We also plan to do a livestream...

All the news that we produce, from me and my team, will be on my facebook page. We also plan to do a livestream, we have a camera and some wifi equipment with us, which we hope will work when we get there. In my team we also have a photographer who will produce some shots and help create some news during each day. It is important for myself to stay on focus, so to have a crew there who can help caddy, provide coverage and work on PR will be a huge advantage.

Follow Jurjen on Facebook: www.facebook.com/JurjenVanDerNoord

Be sure to stay tuned to Boardseeker where we will supply plenty of inside coverage of these record breaking speedsters!