Kitesurfing currently holds the 500m World Speed Sailing Record at an average speed of 55.65 knots (64 m.p.h.) over 500m!
The record is held by a US kitesurfer by the name of Robert Douglas and it was set on a speed channel in Luderitz, Namibia, on the 28th of October 2010. Luderitz is an ideal location for speed kiting. The kitesurfers speed along a very thin channel of water in a lagoon which is surrounded on either side by low lying land allowing consistent winds of between 40- 50 knots to blow past uninterrupted. The small width of the canal ensures that the water surface is perfectly smooth for the fastest rides, but also leaves the kiters very little room for error.
Here’s a video of Robert Douglas’s record breaking run with and interview and a good example of how easily things can go very wrong!