Rob Douglas wins NASSI

World record holder Rob Douglas topped the field in the 3rd annual event. — Photo courtesy of Martha Luce

Rob Douglas of Vineyard Haven, world record holder and the fastest kiteboarder on the planet, won the 3rd annual 2013 North American Speed Sailing Invitational, held from October 17 to November 2 in Katama Bay and Cape Poge Bay. Mr. Douglas claimed the top prize with a top average speed of 50.193 knots (57.5 mph). Winds ranged from 15 to 40 knots as 12 of the world’s best speed sailors competed for a $27,000 purse.

The evolution of speed sailing continued as some riders pushed slalom boards, a new brand of speed board called “Giant Speed” or “GS” to speeds averaging 44 knots in winds of 15 knots. This has never been done before outside of Martha’s Vineyard waters.

Floridian Damien Leroy (top speed 47.668 knots), along with Rob’s brothers, Jamie (45.462) and Morgan Douglas (47.365), were second, third, and fourth. Rounding out the field were: 5. Nico Parlier (France, 46.832), 6. Brian Kender (USA, 45.860), 7. Alex Caizergues (France, 47.220), 8. Christophe Prin-Guennon (France, 45.653), 9. Sylvain Hoceini (France, 46.720), 10. Brock Callen (USA, 43.628), 11. David Williams (Great Britain, 42.546), 12. Bill Lynch (USA, 40.592).

The 2013 NASSI was sponsored by local resident and event competitor Bill Lynch from Lynch Associates and The Black Dog. Rob Douglas organized the event.