Carbon Art riders Jacques Van Der Hout and Chris Lockwood recently competed in the 2008 Speed World Championships at Sotavento beach on the island of Fuerteventura, finishing 11th and 12th overall. Both finished regularly in the top 10, with best speeds over the 500m open ocean course of over 38 knots. Lockwood finished 4th in his best round using the SP47, while Jacques used the SP44 with a best result of 8th.
It was the most competitive speed event in years with 62 riders, many staying on from the earlier PWA slalom event, battling it out on the toughest speed course in the world.. Conditions were extremely challenging with wind gusting to over 35 knots in some rounds and breaking waves of up to 2m to negotiate. The heavy conditions took their toll on the riders and equipment, with broken masts, booms and sails piling up at the containers as riders wiped out spectacularly. Jacques was one of the victims, breaking his mast with his nose, but the best crash was from Dirk Doppenberg who destroyed his rig with his face and neck in a huge catapault.. Even the top riders were breaking things, with reports of Antoine Albeau breaking two masts in one day doing heavy crashes.
The larger riders wearing plenty of weight dominated the event, with Albeau demonstrating his strength by sailing consistently fast on most runs, with several runs of 40 knots during the event. Patrik Diethelm was also firing in the rough conditions, and seemed to be the only one seriously challenging Albeau. Dunkerbeck was also consistent, but had to settle for 3rd.
The next event on the speed tour is at Devils Bay, on the Greek island of Karpathos. There will be a few more Carbon Art riders there, including Dave MacInnes, Morten Knutsen, and Andrea Baldini.