Topspeeds from Down Under - A closer look

On 10th July 2011 the legendary speedspot Sandy Point in Australia was on fire again. The speeds are super impressive, two averages above 46knots and a new 10sec. GPS World Record with 47.59knots for Craig Spottiswood.

A few small discussions were started if the asymmetrical fins which were used are significant faster than symmetrical fins and so clearly supported these results. Well, I don't want to answer this question, but I took a closer look on the results. The first I saw was how close 2sec., fastest 10sec. run and 500m are together. Craig Spottiswood had a 2sec. of 48.39knots, fastest run 47.75knots and 500m 45.95knots. In comparison to this some really fast sessions with a way bigger difference were done in the past. Two examples for those sessions are Hans Kreisel with 48.57/46.56/44.36 at The Brace and Hennie Bredenkamp with 48.38/45.97/40.98 at Luderitz, both were done with symmetrical fins. Just as well there are examples for sessions which were done with asymmetrical fins, Steve Thorp with 47.94/45.87/40.81 at West Kirby and Martin van Meurs with 45.51/42.99/40.63 at Terschelling Harbour.

In my opinion the big differences between 2sec., fastest run and 500m are mostly the result of bearing off from a sandbank or something like that or limited area. Maybe asymmetrical fins have advantages over symmetrical fins, but I don't think this is the only reason for Craig Spottiswood's results (of course beside the material he is an outstanding sailor and dominates the dayrankings very often). In addition there are sessions done with symmetrical fins and really small differences, for example Jacques van der Hout with 48.33/47.45/46.61 at La Franqui.

It's really hard to figure out the differences between symmetrical and asymmetrical fins, probably a 1on1 comparison is the only way, but in my opinion the big results are more supported by perfect conditions and really good sailors!

Patrick Miller

Erik is windsurfer for 10+ years. In his daily life he is professional in construction dewatering, advisor, troubleshooter. Erik likes adventures, explore and to challenge himself. During his life he is trying to get the best out of it and have respect for the earth, nature and future generations. The modern world is about sharing, in this blog Erik shares his experiences, selfreflection and lessons learned.


  1. AnonymousJuly 20, 2011

    Sandy point is probably the best run for 10sec runs as you normally dont bear off the sand bar. As it's a gradual curve you just keep going to the right angle hits you, then hold it for a long long time.One run i had when i was there was a 39.94 with a 10sec of 39.48 with a 500 of 38. so the run is ideal for this no matter what fin you have (sym or assy) in my opinion.

  2. And when you are able to get far enough off the wind (as at S Pt)assy or not maybe doesn't matter?
    If you wan to see clear limits to performance, have a look at Hans Kreisel data on GPSTC. 5 best data sets at many different locations and all have very similar peaks and averages.
    Looks like these fellas need to get to Sandy Pt to fix that "off the wind" problem in order to go faster.
    Seems like it ain't gonna happen in NL.

  3. I agree, I tight posting between the speeds has nothing to do with assy, it is all about the spot and the conditions. Too bad SP not has consistent strong winds all summer... In other case all european speeders would have celebrated X-mas downunder every year!