Dunkerbeck’s first speed record is now almost 30 years old – by 1992 it had reached 43.30 knots (80.1 km / h). As speed measuring technology evolved over the years and the windsurfing equipment used to try it out, Dunkerbeck continued to aim for the next milestone, ultimately leading it to what could be the last big one: 100 km / h.
Since the windsurfer Antoine Albeau crossed the 50 knot barrier, Dunkerbeck has been looking for 100 knots. Reaching such insane speeds requires an incredible amount of skill, experience, an intimate knowledge of your gear – but in the end, it’s the perfect location with the perfect wind conditions that made this record-breaking race possible. . The record site, Lüderitz, has become famous for “The Ditch” – a 500m long canal where the water stays flat even when the wind blows – making it the perfect place to push for top speeds – as long as you don’t crash. “No crash,” he said. “I’m trying not to crash at this speed because if you do, your day is over.”
Although he had completed many fast races over the past three weeks, he knew he needed the perfect day to beat the 100 km / h. “We had quite a few windy days around 35-38 knots,” he says. “So the equipment felt really made up. I was on a 40cm wide AVBoard windsurf board, with a 19cm fin and a Severne Mach 4 Lüderitz Speed Challenge LT 5.5 sail – everything had to work perfectly to reach top speed!
The wind picked up that day, gusting constantly to 45 knots – and that was the thrust it needed to break through the 100 km / h mark. And that’s what he did: in his multiple runs, he exceeded 100 km / h at least five times!
It is the culmination of five years of trying and months of waiting around Namibia’s arid, wind-blown sands, all to push the sport of windsurfing a few tenths of a second faster. Worth it? For Björn, absolutely. Does that mean he’s going to stop fast sailing? Certainly not. Said Dunkerbeck: The next big challenge will be 100 km / h over 500 meters.