Volvo speed trials
This afternoon at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week three of sailing’s most talented, competitive, fun personalities, together with a kitesurfing world record breaker, will put their speed to the test and go head to head in the Volvo Sailing Speed Challenge.
The ‘fantastic four’ challengers are 2008 Olympic Laser gold medallist, Paul Goodison - testing his speed aboard a foiling Moth; double Olympic windsurfing medallist, Nick Dempsey; Hugo Boss IMOCA 60 skipper Alex Thomson and extreme kitesurfer, Sam Lutman-Pauc, who broke the world record kitesurfing across the English Channel last October. Each will be vying to cross the Royal Yacht Squadron finish line first, to claim £1,000 in prize money for a charity of their choice.
Ahead of this race the public can cast a free vote on who they think has the fastest mode of sail and if guessed correctly will automatically be nominated into a prize draw to win an exclusive ‘four ball’ at Wentworth Gold Club. Click here to vote.
“I'm really excited about the upcoming race in Cowes," says Goodison, who along with Nick Dempsey will be will racing for the ‘Andrew Simpson Memorial Fund’, set up in memory of fellow Team GB sailor, Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson. "It will be great to race against the three guys as nobody really knows who will win! I have only sailed my Moth in Weymouth Harbour so I'm a little apprehensive about the waves off the Green, but it will be great fun and all for a good cause” commented Paul.
Alex Thomson, known for his love of stunts from wakeboarding off the back of his IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss and his famous ‘keel walk’, will be entering for ‘Sported’, the leading London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games legacy charity set up by Sir Keith Mills, while kitesurfer Sam Lutmac-Pauc is racing for ‘Toe in the Water’ - the official Cowes Week charity that uses competitive sailing to re-inspire profoundly and traumatically injured servicemen and women to see beyond their injuries.
“I am looking forward to the Volvo Sailing Speed Challenge," commented Thomson. "I think it is going to be about 10 minutes of a lot of fun. I have no idea who will win between us and even though I have a strong competitive streak, I am actually just looking forward to seeing what happens. At the end of the day it is all for charity so no matter what the outcome, it will be a good result.”
The challenge will see the sailors set off in pursuit of each other down a ‘reaching’ course. Statistically, the two boards are expected to be the quickest - windsurfers have historical set a top speed of 49.05 knots over 500 meters, while a Moth, a fast hydrofoil dinghy, can reach up to 31.1 knots.
Before the showdown the competitors will join double Olympic gold medallist, Shirley Robertson, on stage on Cowes Parade for pre-race banter. The contest then kicks off from the Green at 17.00 with live footage streamed on all three event screens located on Cowes Parade, Cowes Yacht Haven and Shepards Wharf Marina, there will also be live commentary from Steve Ancsell and Shirley on Cowes Radio.
And where, pray tell, is the fastest man on the planet, Paul Larsen???