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Weymouth Speed Week celebrated 50 years of speed evolution in style this year with falling records and a new wing class. Foil & Co / AFS developer Bruno André, UK racer Scotty Stallman and organiser Pete Davis report on an epic event.

WORDS – Scotty Stallman, Bruno André and Pete Davis // PHOTOS – John Carter, Dave White and Pete Davis.

Scotty Stallman – 1st Windsurfer
Weymouth Speed Week 2022 was definitely one to remember! With wind forecast everyday bar one we knew it would be full on – but would we get a chance to break the record? After an epic opening day on Saturday, all eyes were on Friday as to whether we would get another chance to try for the windsurfing record. Friday came with wind, however the forecast had shifted from a perfect southwesterly to a southerly. This meant the likelihood of breaking the record was looking less and less as for perfect speed sailing in the harbour, ideally you are looking at a southwesterly wind to get you down the speed strip fully powered!

Long day
Friday was a very long day on the water with just over five hours sailed non-stop! The race crew laid a beach course knowing it would be super broad, but in the hope we would get a wind shift! On the first few runs of the day it was tricky to even make it down the course due to the wind angle that was constantly shifting due to the squalls. Around one/two o’clock in the afternoon I had managed to put in a few good runs but was struggling to put in anything above 36 knots over the 500 metre run. With the hope of breaking the record now being out of sight we carried on in hope of something special. Just before half past three that something special did happen.

As I lined up for another run down the course the wind had shifted slightly round to the west, however it was still far from being perfect! There was some quite big chop going down the run, but with enough wind to push some speed, I knew this was my best shot so I gave it my all over the 500m course. I managed to stay powered all the way down and knew it was the quickest run I had done all day once I got to the bottom. When I looked at my watch it read out a 38.99 knot 500m run which meant I was very close to the record set by Anders Bringdal back in 2008 – it was now down to seeing what I had recorded on the course and whether I had got the record.

The prize-giving came and the anticipation was unreal! I knew it was going to be close but didn’t know whether it was enough. But when Pete Davis read out the time of 38.642 knots over the 500m course, that feeling was unreal and the atmosphere in the room was crazy! I don’t think the feeling has quite worn off yet, so surreal! One of the highlights that evening was hearing from Anders Bringdal himself, he congratulated me and we spoke about what the conditions were like when he set the record. Maybe we will see him next year!

One of the biggest questions I got after setting the new record was what size kit was I on? Portland is a phenomenal spot and on its day can be very quick, although it is not like your conventional speed spot where you’re expecting to use tiny sails and little speed boards. My go-to and what I was sailing on Friday was my 6.2m Severne Mach 5 and Starboard iSonic 63 (small slalom board) with a 32 cm RWS-2 F-Hot fin. Due to Portland’s gusty nature, sizing up on the kit is a massive help to get through the lulls and will increase your average speed over the run! It was a crazy year for Weymouth Speed Week and fingers crossed we can line up with some good winds next year!

Bruno André – 1st Wing

I knew already about the legendary Weymouth Speed Week and the famous names associated with it, like Arnaud de Rosnay, Pascal Maka and Fred Haywood. As we have been working on wing racing development for more than a year, the 50th anniversary of the Speed Week event was a nice opportunity to officially validate some speed results on our new AFS equipment. And what a week it was – windy every day from 6 to 40 knots and every day foiling up to 3 hours fully powered and up to 40 nautical miles a day! Definitely a perfect week for some final testing with my R&D teammate and AFS designer, Emeric Mouret.

The first day was really promising as I scored a nice 29.1 knot 500m run. I knew I could go faster though with the optimisation of a few details on my foil and board and the forecast was looking really good for the end of the week. On that last day (Friday 21st October) the wind was really blowing south from 20 to 30 knots with many heavy showers. Emeric jumped on his board straight after the run was opened. The forecast was for the wind to climb up to 40 knots in the afternoon with a light rotation to the southwest. I could feel the pressure as I was waiting at the spot while Emeric was scoring out there and beating my previous speed from the opening day with a nice 29.5 knot 500m run. But I wanted to believe in the forecast and my gear was ready.

My board was an AFS Fire 5’5″ (25” wide and 90 litres). For the last day I put my footstraps more forward and foil more back to the tail. My Foil is an AFS Performer 97 with pre-production Pure 500 (new range for 2023). I also decided to reduce the lift by adding a shim on the stabilizer, as I knew I could be faster if I could dominate my gear more. My wing for the final day was an AFS Wild 5.2m that offers a flatter profile than our popular AFS Wilf model.

An extreme huge rain shower came when I started my session and the organisers decided to close the run because of the lack of visibility. I felt extremely anxious thinking I had missed the ‘good window’ and that I had lost the event. But then the light came back and as forecasted the wind started to blow 35 knots plus, but still gusty.

I started to build my confidence with some runs around 27 knots and my speeds started to  increase. I was focused on the two buoy run; the angle was really open (120° +) and I knew I needed the strongest gust to perform there over 30 knots for 500m. Less than 60 minutes before the end of the event, the wind finally arrived and my top speeds climbed to always over 31 knots. My penultimate run was the one! I could feel the speed like I have never felt before. My settings and my 5’5″ board helped me to keep my line fully powered with my 5.2m. I had a GPS watch on both arms to double-check my scores. And both recorded 2 runs over 30 knots: 30.2 and 30.5! The GT31 GPS from the organisers said 30.055. That was it. I had my 30+ knots 500m run!


I am 78 kg and don’t wear a weight jacket; I always focus on efficiency! A longer board glides better to take-off, which allows me to use smaller, faster foils easily. As I spend all my time testing settings, going out and back to the beach, I can’t stand sinking on a small board – I love comfort!

At high speed the longer board helps you recover faster and softer when touching down, whereas a shorter board would or could just make a nosedive impact and crash. For racing, more volume helps you to restart faster and also helps with lighter winds. I always believed people were using too small and too technical equipment; I am happy to prove here that bigger equipment is not a barrier to being fast! The balance between positive points and negative points is more towards the positive for bigger gear I think.

Pete Davis – organizer

It is hard to believe Weymouth Speed Week is 50 years old. It’s a place where many world and national records were set, including Fred Haywood breaking 30 knots back in 1983 and its waters have been frequented by many windsurfing superstars including Bjorn Dunkerbeck, Anders Bringdal, Erik Beale, Pascal Maka, and many more.

Speed sailing started here and it gave birth to the World Sailing Speed Record Council that now adjudicates over all speed sailing records.

This year’s entry list had 120 competitors from all around the world lining up to take part. To say our expectations were high was an understatement, especially with an epic wind forecast. Would the windsurfing harbour record of 38.44 knots set by Anders Bringdal exactly 10 years earlier be broken? Would the wing foiling fleet taking part this year for the first time set new records, or be so slow they would be mobile chicanes? The kiters were also looking to break the overall harbour record set by James Longmuir in 2019 at 41.29 knots.


The opening day started with a bang with 30 to 35 knots from the southwest. Starboard / Severne rider Scotty Stallman was the standout windsurfer with some blistering 500 metre runs, almost two knots ahead of the rest of the fleet; the boy was on fire. When the results came in, Scotty achieved 38.02 knots, a fantastic speed but missing the event windsurf record by 0.4 of a knot. James Longmuir on his kite also had a storming run of 41.19 knots, missing beating his own record by an even narrower 0.03 of a knot.

The wing foil fleet was out to prove they were also a force to be reckoned with. AFS rider Bruno Andre from France blew our minds with a truly amazing run with no harness achieving 29.19 knots, but he was also disappointed his speed didn’t start with a 3. So despite these fantastic speeds that us mere mortals dream of, all fleets felt they could achieve more and there was unfinished business.

For the next days the winds very were strong, but from the east and then the south. Speeds were impressive, especially considering the course had to be set out in the choppy waters of the harbour, and the lead was constantly changing between the fleets and on two days the wing foilers were faster than the kiters but with no flat water the speeds were not record breaking. It became clear everyone was focused on Friday, the closing day, which was shaping up to be even windier than the opening Saturday, but would it be from the right direction?

Last chance

Friday arrived and the wind gods obviously thought we had a sense of humour, as the day started with dead south winds which came over the top of Portland Island and straight down the beach course at 180 degrees, and gusting from 10 knots to 30. Perfect speed course conditions – not! Then the rain came… and boy did it rain! It was so bad that John Carter’s cameras stopped working and he had to dry them out in the hand dryer of a café’s toilet! The wind was up and down and the race officer Karen Battye, with only a few hours to go, made the decision to give the rescue boats a break as they were soaked through.

Then at 3 p.m., with an hour to go before the close of the event, the race officer reopened the course. JC, with now dry cameras, managed to capture the clearing rainstorm and the wind came back with a vengeance! The wind angle was still very broad and with over 40 knots it favoured the brave. There was no shortage of wide-eyed windsurfers, kiters and wingers putting their limbs and equipment on the line. With this amount of wind at this angle, if you didn’t come in fully lit and with your hair on fire you struggled to get to the end of the course. The course closed dead on 4 p.m. and there was an anxious wait in Spinnakers bar at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy as the battered and bruised speedsters waited for the results.


First up was the wing foilers and Bruno Andre with less than 9 minutes to spare, busted the 30-knot barrier with 30.05 knots, which we believe is an unofficial new wing foiling world record. Windsurfers were next up and with just over 30 minutes to spare, 23 year old Scotty Stallman beat the windsurfing harbour record with an incredible 38.64 knot run, beating Swedish pro windsurfer Anders Bringdal’s record set in 2012. Surrounded by his boss, Tris Best from the OTC, his racing peers and his family who had seen this local lad grow up windsurfing from the age of nine, they couldn’t believe it. The place erupted.

Kiter James Longmuir didn’t go any faster and had to console himself with fastest of the week with 41.19 knots set on the opening day. Fastest female wing foiler went to Helana Darvelid, who is the wife of Paul Larsen the fastest sailor on the planet (Vestas Sailrocket 2). Fastest boat and one of only two ever made, was Vampire, piloted by Kyle Stoneham and crew who did a very respectable 30.58 knots. The achievements this year go on and on – James Break winning the windsurfing amateur fleet with 32.63 knots; Bob Cartridge who came through the amateur fleet 2 years ago won the Gold fleet with 33.24 knots, and will now be moving into the pro fleet. Zara Davis returned this year taking part in the windsurfing and wing foil fleets and won women’s fastest of the week for an incredible eleventh time.

The UKWA speed championships take place at Weymouth Speed Week every year and this year for the first time included wing foil as well as windsurfing. The Hey Dude Windsurf Trophy was not surprisingly won by Scotty Stallman, with Simon Pettifer runner up and a solid third place for Garry Connell. The women’s windsurf fleet winner was Zara with up and coming Liiia Yelland second. UKWA wing foil mens fleet winner was a great result for fastest Brit, Richard Hobson, on his new Fanatic, Duotone setup. Second was Mike George (also doing both windsurf and wing) and Ian Kraft in third. Zara Davis was the only women in the UKWA wing foil speed fleet but kept the boys honest with some fast runs.

These speed achievements however don’t give the full picture of why Weymouth Speed Week is so important and is still super popular 50 years on. The atmosphere is like no other sailing competition. Rivals help each other with encouragement and equipment, freedom to innovate and think outside the box and a well-organised event geared to make sure you have a great time.

Undeniably one of the best Weymouth Speed weeks on record and what a fantastic way to pay tribute to all of those who had gone before them over the last 50 years. Finally thanks to our race and rescue crews especially our race officer Karen Battye who comes over from France every year and back-room staff, especially Mike George who modernised the timing system this year and to our sponsors without whom we would not be able to run – Core wings, SabFoil, The OTC, Hey Dude, Simmer Style, Flymount, Fanatic, Duotone, ION, Budvar lager, O’Shea, Mac in a Sac, NeilPryde, JP, Cabrinha, AFS Foils, F-Hot fins, Natural Designs and South East Signage.

WSW 50th anniversary party (33 of 53)

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