BIG CONTROVERSY AS 50 KNOT + KITE RECORD THROWN OUT


Weeeeeeeeeelllll. This is going to be quite a big issue I think. The world speed record which was broken by a kiter in Namibia a short while ago has just been thrown out by the ISAF cos it says a kite is not a sail. A sail has to be driven by the wind - upright! Hmmm............I don't agree with that at all. If they did not consider a kite a sail why didn't they make this clear in the first place??
This is what was on Boardseeker Magazine on the matter:
''Well the speed world is all over the place at the moment with the news that the kiting record of 50.57 by Alexandre Caizergues and the ground breaking 50+kt run of Sebastien Cattelan DO NOT count for the official sailing speed records. In an ISAF meeting it was decided that kite powered craft could not be recognised as the holder of the World Sailing Speed record.Now we windsurfers dont always see eye to eye with the kiters, but credit where credit is due, they broke the 50kts, and however you look at things they are powered solely by the wind. To add further to the controversy, it seems nobody can really explain why. The ISAF say a kite is not a sail. However their definition of a sail is:A sail is any type of surface intended to generate thrust by being placed in a wind—in essence a vertically-oriented wing. Back in the 70's Jacobs ladder made numerous attempts at the record using a stack of flexifoils attached to a boat and it was considered one of the great innovations of the speed sailing world. Now 30 years later it seems kites are sails?So now the race is still on to break the 50 kts. Antoine, Finian, Bjorn and Whitey can all strap up their speed boards again and get back out on the course. Not sure how victorious they will feel however.''
It will be interesting to see what uproar there will be about this!

Comments

Joe said…
Puffy must be a member of that group. It sounds like sour grapes to me.
Bunty said…
Whether a windsurfer likes it or not a kiter has broken that record twice, so even if - or rather when - a windsurfer breaks the 50 knot barrier it definitely WON'T feel the same for him!
PeconicPuffin said…
Hey I give kitesurfers full props for going faster than any windsurfer has ever gone. In the kiter vs windsurfer speed competition, the kiters are currently on top. Congratulations to them!

That doesn't mean that kiting is sailing, or that a new sailing record has been set. The debate is over the definition of sailing. It's shitty that the keepers of formal sailing records have waited until now to make this pronouncement, but even if they had, I think the kiters would have still gone for the windpowered craft record, and they still would have taken it.

Joe, have you ever kited? Did you feel like you were sailing when you were? I have kited twice, and it was an amazing experience, but at no time did I feel like I was doing anything like sailing. What's strange to me about all of this is why anyone wants to consider kiting to be sailing. Are sailors kiters too?
Bunty said…
...........and to add more to this argument........my dearest hubby joined in buy saying So......is a spinnaker a sail? It is often referred to as a kite by the yachties. I have tried kitesurfing and do I think it is sailing? Well it is windpowered but there is no mast. So to sail does one have to have a mast??
PeconicPuffin said…
For me the conclusion that kiting is kiting (and not sailing) wasn't so much a question of "is there a mast? etc" but just a gut reaction. The first time I windsurfed it was so obviously sailing. What was missing from conventional sailing was a rudder.

Re spinnakers...if a sailboat uses a kite for sailing downwind, does that mean a kite is a sail? I don't think so.

I'm also wondering why it seems like people think it's an insult to kiting to say it's not sailing. I don't get it. Is hang gliding sailing? Is it kiting?
Bunty said…
I suppose this is the sort of 'never ending' debate. It can go on and on. In the end I suppose it boils down to the individual's opinion.........except what the individual thinks does not count when a record is trying to be established.
PeconicPuffin said…
The good news for kiters is that they've surpassed boats and windsurfers for the speed record between those three crafts. I don't think that speed windsurfers will be satisfied with any other record than fastest windpowered craft, and I look forward to it happening!
Simon said…
At the end of the day it is all about power(wind) vs resistance. A hand glider uses power to keep the glider up and not propel forward(that's gravity). A kite uses the power of the wind to propel forward and uses lateral resistance. The properties are very similar even though the feeling might be completely different. The feeling of an 18 foot racing catamaran is very different from a 100 foot luxury Wally. Both are sailing... no?! :)
Bunty said…
I like your comment Sim!
PeconicPuffin said…
If you're riding thermals (in a glider, a hang glider etc) you're using wind to overcome gravity, but I wouldn't call that sailing.

To me the debate is silly semantics. The achievement is about wind powered travel on the water. If kiters had always held that speed record and then one day a sailboat or windsurfer came along and beat it, would they say that they held the kiting speed record?
The desire to call kiting sailing baffles me. Bunty, Simon, anyone...I challenge you to go kiting and then tell me you felt you were sailing. You will feel a lot of things...it's an amazing experience and totally worthwhile! But you're not going to say it felt like sailing (or bicycling). A kiter who tries windsurfing for the first time doesn't say "wow that's just like kiting but without the strings." It's different. We should celebrate the differences. And compete!
Simon said…
Agreed... we should celebrate the difference and compete and so far (unfortunately) kiters are ahead! Whether we call it a sailing record or wind powered medium record... kiters are still ahead. They are the fastest wind powered sea craft known to man TO DATE!!

(What i find interesting is that all craft use their sail as a kite in speed tests. To explain, when carrying out a speed test, you are essentially going downwind meaning that the belly of the sail is vital. In fact, the mast is not made to be used for downwind though more for a beat or reach. Although, yes, there are countless arguments against this, keeping in mind that everything happens while going downwind is important. Also, please look at the modern sailing dinghy's and skiffs, their spinnaker is almost identical to a kite.)

P.S. we know that the sensation is different to windsurfing, but sensations from a skiff to a catamaran is very different. Sensation has nothing to do with it. Its the physics behind it.
PeconicPuffin said…
Simon, in windsurfing speed runs the mast is crucial. It's a broad reach (not a downwind run...downwind is slow) using skinny masts (for a finer leading edge) and of course the sail has its foil tuned (through mast stiffness, downhaul to control the shape and winds spill of the sail and outhaul to adjust the belly of the sail.)

As for "Sensation has nothing to do with it. Its the physics behind it" you may find that answer satisfactory, but I think it's inadequate. Travel by schooner, catamaran, dinghy, windsurfer, and kite, and I think you'll find that one seems very different from the other four.
Bunty said…
................and so the debate goes on!
Joe said…
It does feel different, but so does sailing an Olsen 30 versus a Force 5 and more so a windsurfer versus the keel boat and planning dinghy. They all behave differently based upon their characteristics. However they all adhere to the same theory of aerodynamics. A sail attached to a mast is a wing.
Sandro said…
Got in on this late, but check again guys. The decision was reversed. Kites are now officially holders of the speed sailing record.
What I think: Kites are similar to spinikers so should be considered as sailing.
What I feel: Don't care much about kiting. I windsurf and love it.
Bunty said…
So I suppose this finally brings this debate to a close!
Sandro said…
pity. It a good debate!