The world’s biggest kitesurfing and windsurfing race
Africa is home to some of the world’s finest sailing and wind sports accolades. From the annual speed kiting event held in Luderitz, Namibia, which crowned world champions and declared the kite the fastest sailing vessel, to the first stop-over of the grueling Volvo Ocean Race. Home-grown athletes like Sjoukje Bredenkamp grace the world circuits with their presence and bring home outright speed records as they brave the howling winds around the globe.
For the past 24 years, the worlds fastest have gathered in Africa for ultimate racing adventure – the mission from main beach Langebaan to Dial Rock Saldanha (more than 20km course). Originally a windsurfing race, the Dash has attracted a mix of local and foreign wind lovers on kites and Hobie cats all in pursuit of the challenge of dicing tankers, large swells, squalling wind and hundreds of competitors.
2010 is a special year for the Dash, as it’s the 25th anniversary of the event, originated by the Saldanha Beach sailing Club. Title sponsor Resolution is sponsoring the event for the second year now, and they continue to recognises the lifestyle of the adrenalin seeking adventurers. Resolution is proud to be associated with the heritage and caliber of the Dash. Visit www.resomed.co.za or www.resolution-sa.co.za for more information.
Winning the dash is about the achievement. It’s the sense of satisfaction and the honour of having your plaque on the legendary wheel trophy, alongside some of the world’s finest sailors. Matt Swart is a well known local hero who has won the event five times. The dash favours the local sailor, and offers a great challenge to anyone up for the adventure of exploring the Langebaan lagoon.
There are a host of brands and sponsors who are working closely together with the Saldanha Beach Sailing Club to continue to grow the event over the coming years. Red Bull has continued their involvement with prize money, energy centre at the finish of the race, jet ski’s and mobile PA and entertainer “stretch”. An addition to the prize line up is Bulksms, who have generously sponsored a new purse of R5000 for the first lady and man to complete the race on windsurfing wave-sailing equipment.
The event will be held on the first day of sufficient wind on either the 23/24 January 2010 or the holdover weekend 6/7 February 2010. A preliminary notice of confirmation of the race will be sent out on the 21st January at 12:00 with final confirmation on the 22nd January depending on wind forecasts.
A pre-registration gathering will be hosted by Lagoon Sports on Langebaan main beach on Friday the 22nd. If you pre-register online, you can collect your goodie bag and competition vest here. If you have not yet entered you will be able to register here from 17:00 to 20:00. Malcolm Mc Gregor, the founder and race director, will be available for a question and answer session from 20:00. Any queries regarding the start sequence, false starts, rider communications etc can be raised here. Cabrinha and Liquid Force will be present at the gathering, and all those who attend will stand the chance of winning great prizes in a lucky draw. There will be a spit braai and refreshments available.
Late registration and collection of competition vests will take place at the usual location on main beach from 11:00am on the morning of the race. Please note that given the limited entries available it is advisable to secure your spot in the race online prior to race day on www.gustmagaine.com. Last year the event hosted 320 entries and we are expecting 400 sailors in 2010. To date we have over 100 paid and confirmed participants.
The first possible start will be at 14:00. Note that the wind requirement is a minimum of 12kts and a maximum of 30kts for safety and rescue purposes. The annual prize giving happens at the Club Mykonos taverna, where riders and their family are invited to enjoy a fish braai and live entertainment from Nungarin and top DJ, Dino Moran.
If you have not yet arranged transport and accommodation, please make enquiries through GUST magazine. Click herefor a live interview with Aaron Hadlow, 5 x Kiteboarding World Champion who will be attending the event.