WEYMOUTH Speed Week has seen a remarkable early fastest mark of 34.16 knots laid down by Belgian windsurfer Patrick van Hoof in choppy conditions.

This year’s event, featuring over 60 participants, started with a bang thanks to the tail end of Storm Callum.

A strong southerly wind meant the speed strip was in the middle of the harbour rather than along the beach, providing lumpy conditions unsuitable for optimum speed.

With the overall event finishing tomorrow, the fastest speed at the time of writing went to van Hoof, set on the 500m course. Second is local boy Simon Cofield on 33.45 knots and third is Leigh Kingaby from West Sussex.

At the time of writing, this year’s current fastest lady Jenna Gibson from Kent laid down 32.56 knots – close to Zara Davis’ women’s harbour record of 32.88 knots. Davis is also the women’s world record holder.

Eventual winner of the youth fleet was Weymouth Tyler Baker at 28.748 followed by Olympic hopeful James Faley, also of Weymouth, in second with 28.583 knots. Third was Sam Jones and fourth Lewis Limm.

The event also hosts the United Kingdom Windsurfing Association British Championships that crowns the UK’s fastest male and female over a series of rounds throughout the week, those currently being Cofield and Gibson.

Present fastest kite is James Longmuir at 32.20 knots while the boats have yet to make appearance and are waiting for flatter conditions.

n A full round-up will feature in next week’s Afloat page. For results go to www.weymouthspeedweek.com