Auckland kite boarder Gavin Broadbent has smashed the existing national speed sailing record at the international Luderitz Speed Challenge for sail powered craft.
At 50.93 knots, Broadbent is the favoured newcomer at the international competition on Namibia's coast, attended this week by 40 of the world's fastest speed sailors.
The event attracts the top speed sailors in kite surfing and wind surfing. It was the competition where the 50 knot record was first broken and where kite surfers attained the outright speed record for sail powered craft - the sailing equivalent of breaking the sound barrier, or achieving the four minute mile.
Until this week, l'Hydroptere, the fastest sailing boat on the planet held the record of 51.36 knots. French man, Alex Caizerques achieved the new world outright record of 54.1 knots on day one of the Luderitz competition.
A former New Zealand men's water ski and wake board champion, 46 year old Broadbent says: "The organisers have created a new channel and improved the course so there are good odds for the competition to regain the world record and faster speeds if the wind blows more than 40 knots.
"So far there has been less wind than I expected so I'm looking forward to some strong wind tomorrow and some real speed. I have much more to achieve here."
On day one of the event, Broadbent's official average speed over 500m was already recorded at 44.51 knots - the previous record being 40.68 knots.
Resident of Auckland's North Shore, he is the only New Zealander competing at this year's competition.
Broadbent's time has been ratified by the World Speed Sailing Record Council. It is a speed measured and video-timed race, over a 500m course.
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