2009 KAsail North American GPS challenge report.

Father and Son win 2009 KAsail Challenge!

Derek Nielsen and his 18 year old son Alex showed North American speedsailors how to get it done, in family style, by having the top 2 best average of 5 runs in a day.  Derek’s 43.15 knot average is the highest we have ever had submitted to the event.  His 5, blazing 10 second runs were 44.58, 43.09, 42.91,42.63, and 42.54 knots.  The runs took place at Chinook County Park, in the Gorge, during early November . 

Derek writes:   The day was very windy upon arriving half hour before sunrise, wind meter on the beach confirmed 30-40 knots. As squalls came through it was raining too hard to see at times. from 6:50 to 8:15 I managed 8 runs. 4 of them peaked over 45 knots and 1 of those at 46.3 knots. I was very excited to have my 5 best hundred meter runs from 43.88 to 45.55 knots. The fastest of which i hear is the fastest of any in American waters. I'm looking forward to sailing it again and believe there is more speed available if we have a better wind angle. The run was about 110 degrees, the fastest angle was heading away from the bar, which the board started to bounce out in a short distance. We were all pretty spent in and hour and a half of sailing, despite good water and wind still. Roo and i were both stoked about personal bests, Alex posted near bests, but was a tad overpowered and fell just short of the 40 knot mark again, next year he hopes to break it.”

In second place was Derek’s son Alex with a 5 run average of 35.84 knots in August at the Klickitat River Sandbar.  We love the idea of Alex chasing down his Dad to get first place next year, and Alex pushing his Dad to even faster speed 

In third place this year was Hawaiian Hot Sails designer, Tom Hammerton.  Tom has been a longtime organizer and supporter of GPS speed surfing in Hawaii, and we are happy to see him place in this year’s contest.  His session was also part of the Maui V max speed meeting 4. Tom writes of this day’s runs 

 Started light and slowly got windier but choppier. Actually did 3rd fastest run on 7.3 with Manta 67 early in the day when the water was flatter.

In the afternoon it got very rough and became extremely difficult to find a good line. Failed to get a good clean run in and as a result trailed everyone else by a knot. I was very disappointed, as I know I could have been in the 37s if I could have had a clean run. And that was the difference between first and last!”

Derek has won a new 4.4 KAsails Koncept “ My son would definitely have used a 4.4 that day and other days when it was very windy. Sailworks doesn’t make a race sail that small. Seeing how fast some of the guys at Sandy have gone on that 4.4 it looks like a promising sail for him,  I don’t know how much I'll use it though at 230 lbs.”

Alex has won a PhotoGlow backlit frame with the above image to commemorate his achievement as well as a $250 credit toward a 370 cm RDM mast for Dad’s (your) new sail. 

Tom has also won a PhotoGlow backlit frame with a print of his choice, and a $150 credit towards a sail or mast.

Thanks to the crew at, for without having a great place to run the event, it would not be able to take place.  Thanks also to Andrew McDougall of KAsails, and Juerg Schnorf of, the American importer of KA sails, for supplying the prizes for the Kontest.  Most of all, thanks to all the participants that joined us in this year’s event.

KA sails has agreed to sponsor the Kontest again this year, but final details have not yet been determined.  2009 is the last year I will organize this event.  I have enjoyed watching sailors go for it in North America, and meeting new people. For 2010 Juerg Schnorf of Windsurfdeal will take over my duties.

Ed Sinofsky – Event Organizer