One more speed victory for Bjorns hunger to break all speed records

Bjorn on his Thommen T-1 approaching the start line

Weymouth Speed Week has been one of those events that have been running since history began!!! The idea is to get any sailing craft down the 500 metre speed course as fast as possible, by this we mean any. Rocket ships powered by kites, weird catamarans with several odd looking sails, kiters, trimarans. Eccentricity often overtakes logic and practicality as is often explored in the forefronts of science. However Weymouth Speed Week entrants often come up with designs that have very little scientific theory behind them, and often don't even make it off the Jetty.

So what has this got to do with windsurfing? Well when it comes down to it, windsurfers are the fastest craft over a range of conditions, we all know that! Secondly, way back in 1982 a sort of boat called Crossbow II broke the Weymouth Speed Week Record with an outstanding time of 36 knots. For 24 years windsurfers have come and gone, but the record has stood.

Until now!

Watching these events unfold was the legendry Bjorn Dunkerbeck . With a hunger to break all speed records he rocks up at this partially amateur event held in England, in the middle of October and will not come off the water until he got the record.

The record fell on Tuesday 5 th of October, it was warm and sunny (unusual for England ), and more importantly windy, gusting between 17 and 30 knots. Bjorn Dunkerbeck was out all day, but it was not until the afternoon when he finally managed to take the record on a 6.7 Neil Pryde RS4 and a 60cm wide Thommen RS60

board. The record fell in 22 - 26 knots of wind at an angle of 105 degrees. The closest challenger was Dan Ellis of the UK on a standard Fanatic Falcon 90 and a North Warp 6.4, Dan was just under 3 knots of the pace. Dunkerbecks achievement was pretty remarkable considering the gusty unperfect conditions.  His presence on the water inspired everyone to push themselves harder and achieve their personal bests.

British Speed Sailing Legend and production world champion Dave White of Severne and F2 was not able to sail due to several broken ribs and a punctured lung which are still under repair. He was on hand to coach everyone else to get the best out themselves and tune their kit for ultimate speed, and work with Gregg Dunnett of Board's magazine in the UK to get him over 30knots at his first ever speed event.

What of the other craft?

Well windsurfers totally dominated the event with over 300 runs clocked at over 30 knots, Kite surfers managed some speeds in the low 30's and the sailing craft didn't break 26!


Board: T1-RS 60 Sail: 6.7 Neil Pryde RS4

Weymouth Speed weeks continues to raise it's profile, with more challengers every year, no doubt Bjorn will be back next year, with hopefully a new world record and to try and take the record above 40 knots!


Report by Clyde Waite

Photos by Dave White