One of the main attractions of the open sea is the challenge that it represents, both in terms of skill and endurance. Many people take this challenge to the next level by attempting to set or break boating or marine world records. Here are a few of the most astonishing, amusing and unusual:
Water Speed Record
The fastest water speed record (ie. The fastest boat) was set by Ken Warby in New South Wales, AU in 1978. Warby set the record of 275.97 knots (511.11 km/h, or 317.58 mph) in his jet-powered hydroplane called the Spirit of Australia. Sounds like it’s about time for a challenge!
Youngest person to sail the Atlantic solo
The youngest person to sail across the Atlantic by themselves was David Sandeman, a British born lad who succeeded in his attempt when he was just 17 years old! He sailed from Jersey, UK, to Newport, Rhode Island, USA in his 10.67 m (35 ft) long Sea Raider. The voyage lasted for 43 days and occurred in 1976.
Fastest Propeller-Driven Boat
In March 2004, Dave Villwock managed to reach an astonishing speed of 354.849 km/h (220.493 mph) in a hydroplane named Miss Budweiser. The boat used a propeller powered by an old Chinook helicopter (a Lycoming T-55 L-7 turbine engine, which is rated at 1,976 kW 2,650 hp).
Most water-skiers towed behind a single boat
This one’s a more unusual world record, but none the less, still very impressive! Just earlier this year, in March 2010 in Australia, the Horsehead Water Ski Club was responsible for 114 waterskiers being towed behind a single boat.
Largest Raft Race
The largest raft race recorded involved 1,086 participants who were positioned on 543 rafts. This feat was organised by the city of Morioka and the Kitakamigawa River Rubber Boat Rafting Championship Executive Committee in Morioka, Iwate, Japan, on 26 July 2009.
Longest Windsurf Race
The longest windsurf racetakes place annually, is known as the Lancelin Ocean Classic Windsurfing Marathon and takes place in Australia. In January 2008, the course measured 25.62 km (15.92 miles).