From Fiji Times – Rashneel Kumar – Thursday, October 30, 2014
FIJI’S first participant in the international speed sailing competition, Andrew Redfern is hoping to inspire locals to take up the sport.
Redfern took part in the Luderitz Speed Challenge in Namibia earlier this month where he established the first ever national record of 40.87 knots (approximately 76km/hr) in the 500 metres class event.
During the record setting run, he reached a top speed of 43.34 knots which is just over 80km/hr.
“The 500m class is the event that establishes the ‘fastest sailors on the planet’,” Redfern said.
“The event is run over a total of four weeks of which I was there for one week. Each week there are a maximum of 20 riders.
“The riders come from all around the world including USA, UK, Sweden, Demark, Belgium, Holland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey and South Africa. These were some of the countries represented during my stay.”
Redfern said he was looking forward to helping locals learn more about the sport and join him to international events in the future.
“Now that Fiji has a foot on the map of speed sailing, I am hoping it will encourage others to partake in the sport,” he said.
“Fiji is a sailing and water sports paradise and I would like to urge anybody with an interest in sailing of any type to get in touch with the Fiji Yachting Association.
“They run classes for beginners and hold various events and races around the country.”
Redfern thanked his sponsors Port Denarau Marina, Swindale Associates Ltd (UK), Williams & Gosling, Viti Water Sports, Jacks of Fiji, Pacific Tourist Store, Beqa Adventure Divers, Yacht Help Fiji, Mana Island Resort & Spa, Tropicx Design Studio, Fiji Tropical Watersports and Cardos Steak House for their support.