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NameBasil Cambanis
HomespotSterkfontein Dam, HarrismithVirtual Earth
CountrySouth Africa

Weight84 kg
Weight Class81-90
Height188 cm
Age classMaster (36-50)HomepageFacebookBlogpicasayoutubeTwitter
Member sinceSunday, April 30, 2006
Sessions posted138
  Session information
session_dateSunday, May 17, 2009
SpotSterkfontein Dam, Harrismith, South Africa
BoardCustom Airtool Proto
KiteGenetrix Hydra 9.0
FinHome made Stainless 3
GPS typeNavi GT-31

Average speed41.52 knots ( 43.65 42.08 41.79 40.11 39.95 )
Max. GPS (display)50.29 knots
Max. 2 sec. (software)50.18 knots
100 m run48.65 knots
250 m run41.54 knots
500 m run0 knots
Nautical mile0 knots
1 hour0 knots
Alpha racing10.44 knots
Distance8 km

RemarksThese were the most insane conditions I've ever seen or kited in spanning my 20 years of sailing !
Sterkies went mental and far exceeded the modest 20 knot forecast of Windguru by some margin when it blew up to 60 knots ! 
I'm so glad I opted to hold the speed event this weekend, everyone's jaw dropped at Mother Nature's spectacle. There were swells in the dam that looked like the ocean and a blanket of spray shrouded the dam for nearly and hour during the peak, a sight few have ever seen.

It think it's the first time that the wind got too strong for a SPEED EVENT, and competitors came off the water for their own safety. One brave youngster named Schalk Kleyn braved the conditions in his first event on a 3sqm Flexifoil, check the photo gallery on the site for this and many more amazing photos and stories (and wipe-outs).

I become the first person to clock over 50 knots while sailing INLAND (50.28). By "inland", I'm mean over 300km's from the nearest ocean.

I had some acceleration (3.5m p/sec) and deceleration (6.4m p/sec) stats in the process that required setting changes before the runs would show; thanks for your help Manfred.
The reason for the huge speed fluctuations is that the bay is really small (<300m), and since there's huge swell in the beginning and a perpendicular bank with trees at the end, you're forced to accelerate and hit the brakes very hard at the end.
This results in a poor average, but what a rush anyway !

I'd be able to get a better average in less wind there as the water state will be calmer and I can stop faster with a lower peak speed, but the short distance will always be the limiting factor there.
There's a better spot on the Southern side of the dam which requires an 8 km trek on a speedboard through hellish swell and chop, but that's my next best option if I'm to clock better speeds inland.
My next goal is a mid-40 average there, heck there's no harm in trying.

These were the peaks for the 6 runs I did :
[ 1]  50.28 KTS
[ 2]  49.60 KTS
[ 3]  49.35 KTS
[ 4]  47.89 KTS
[ 5]  47.56 KTS
[ 6]  46.73 KTS

Special thanks to those that believed in me; Mark, Angelo, Gert and Anton to name a few.
Thanks to Garry Robinson from Airtool for an awesome speed board, there's plenty more where that came from.
Thanks to Bruce and Rob Chrystal from for sponsoring the event.
Thanks to Anton Nel and Sinisa Misic from for the awesome action pics.
Thanks to all of you that I shared it with, you helped make it one of the most memorable session ever, what an epic event.

Check for photos, video, wipe-outs, story and GPS tracks.

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