Windsurfer notches up world record title win

PUBLISHED: 18:00 07 August 2018

Zara Davis.

Zara Davis.

Peter Davis

A Clevedon windsurfer snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when she retained her world record title.

Zara Davis. Picture: Peter DavisZara Davis. Picture: Peter Davis

Zara Davis, aged 52, has returned from the south of France where she has defended her world speed sailing record for the nautical mile.

Zara is an osteopath working out of Portishead and is no newcomer to this high adrenaline sport.

She is the three-time world speed champion and also holds the blue riband 500m world record, winning her first world title in 2006.

She ventured out to France for the world title clash where she faced tough newcomers including Heidi Ulrick from Switzerland and Marie Paul Geldof from Belgium on July 16.

Zara Davis. Picture: Peter DavisZara Davis. Picture: Peter Davis

On the first day of competition, Zara was able to increase her personal best to 35.36 knots over the mile-long course but this was not enough as Heidi was 0.5 knots faster, meaning she snatched the world record from Zara.

Disappointed with the result, Zara had to head home to treat patients at the Walnut Grove clinic she runs with her husband Peter.

But there was a silver lining to her loss as she would get a chance to reclaim her record and title from the Swiss boarder before the competition ended later in the week.

She flew back out to France for the next session four days later, and it was well worth the trip.

On July 20 in almost perfect conditions, Zara headed out to the water once again and managed to go 0.13 of a knot faster than Heidi to set a new women’s world record at 37.29 knots – almost 43mph.

This record is faster than any women on any sail craft, including boat, windsurf and kitesurfer, and makes Zara the outright record holder once again.

Zara said: “It was hard having to fly home and go back to work with no world record but the effort to fly back to La Palme and put it aside, try again and take the record back was well worth it.”

Her husband Peter said: “She was so disappointed when she had to return home after losing her title.

“But when she had the second chance, she came back with this determination; as if to say ‘that is my world record and I want it back’.

“She flew down the course and did herself proud.”

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