On 28 of October, Sebastien Cattelan was the first person to reach a speed of over 55 knots average over 500m with a Genetrix Hydra 9 meter kite and an Xcelerator board.
The Luderitz Speed Challenge has finally come to a close. Martial, founder and owner of Genetrix gives us his impressions
MTL: Rob Douglas got the world record by going 55.65 knots. What is your reaction?
I’m not ready to forget that infamous day! First, Seb pulverizes the previous record and becomes the first to pass the 55 knots speed barrier making history one more time. 14 minutes later Rob Douglas improves the time by 15 hundredths of a second. I was incredulous.
These two men have really set the bar very high. It is a very good victory for Rob Douglas who is a great guy and this will help bring recognition of the speed discipline to the U.S, which is very positive for the sport.
Q: First to 50 Knots / First to 55 knots and the record gets snatched by only 15 hundredths of a second. That must be a bit annoying, no?
Of course it is annoying because we put so much work and energy for this record. With Seb, we gave it everything: me in the development of new wings, and him, working on improving the speed canal, but it is the harsh nature of the sport. But, I am very proud of what he was able to accomplish under the conditions and circumstance he had to go through. It is truly an extraordinary and historic accomplishment, even though he did not end up with the overall speed record at the end of the day, he still made his mark on the history books.
Q: 7 national records, 1 European record. Gentrix took most of the national records on this event:
It was fantastic to see a sky filled with Genetrix kites and to see the various national records falling to so many different Genetrix riders. The competition led the team riders of the same nationality to try to surpass each other for their national records. The Genetrix Hydra demonstrated its superiority and helped many riders express their full commitment even at world-record speeds. At times, there were only Genetrix kites on the water. Unfortunately, Sophie Routaboul was injured during one of her runs. But, she was still able to exceed 48 knots with a broken hand, respect …
I’m really proud of the riders in the team and the spirit that they have portrayed throughout this event. CARE, RESPECT, FAIR PLAY. It is great for the boss of a brand to have such a solid team. Beyond victory it is extremely important for me, because this spirit of teamwork and sportsmanship is our strength, I am a very happy man.
Q: What equipment did team Genetrix use?
Sebastian established the 55 knots with the new HYDRA 9 m V5 on 25 meter lines.
All other National Records were made with the new HYDRA v5 8 m (also with 25 meter lines). It is a wing that we have developed this year with Seb and it is simply AMAZING. The evidence is in the results!
Q: Do you have any regrets?
It did not work out very well that Seb had to wear two hats as event organizer and competitor. He had the entire project of the organization on his shoulders and, of course, had to manage the enormous daily pressures that such an event creates. Imagine, having to organize an event of this level in the depths of Africa with only primitive means available! Getting up every morning for nearly two months at 6:00 am and having to brave the cantankerous mechanical digger or the shovel (I know how hard it is from personal experience!) to fill sand bags and make dams all along the canal to get the water level right. Every day, the same endless chores because of tides that damage the run during the night …. Eat a sandwich, get to the run and then compete!! Personally I do not know where he gets his energy to achieve such performance!
I really regret that Seb was not able to race in a physically fresher state. But, even in his depleted state his performance was exceptional: 6 Runs at more than 53 knots, one at over 54 knots and 2 runs over 55 knots. I lost track of how many runs he exceeded 50 knots, which has become routine for him!
Q: The competition is over: what are your plans now?:
We are going to do a photo shoot in South Africa of the new Origins.
Q: Can you tell us more?
Not yet — I do not want anything leaking out quite yet. But, I will say that the new kite is simply extraordinary. Just wait until you have one in your hands. Its flying characteristics are amazing! (photos soon).