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Redfern targets record

Emoni Narawa
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ANDREW Redfern is hoping to set a new national record in speed sailing by competing in the Luderitz Speed Challenge in Namibia in October this year.

The world event, which will be an attempt to set records by participants from around the globe, is an opportunity Redfern is looking forward to.

Through this competing, Redfern is hoping to set the platform despite the sport yet to make its debut in Fiji.

"This sport is not played in Fiji but I will want to set the platform for it by setting a new record," the 52-year-old said. Redfern will be the first Fiji citizen to take part at the Luderitz Speed Challenge held annually in the desserts of Namibia.

"It's kind of strange but I was looking through the International Speed Sailing records one day and I noticed Fiji wasn't there.

"I was actually quite surprised and a little disappointed. So I decided to contact the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) who verified that Fiji did not indeed have a National Record for the 500m class.

"So that's when I decided to do something about it and put Fiji 'on the map' in the world of speed sailing."

The Luderitz Speed Canal, developed in 2007 and refined annually, has been responsible for some 11 world records and 64 national records over the years.

Redfern said to sail fast, the sailor needed strong wind and flat water, two things that rarely occur together.

He acknowledged local sponsors in particular Williams and Gosling, Viti Water Sports, Pacific Tourist Store, Jack's of Fiji and Port Denerau Marina for their support.

"The response from local sponsors has been incredible to date. It takes a little bit of thinking outside the box to recognise the potential behind something like this which is new to Fiji."

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