Sponsored by The Black Dog, Cabrinha kites and John Amundson Customs, Black Dog businessman Rob Douglas, in what was described as “one of the most thrilling kite speed races of all time,” recently set a new U.S. record at 40.21 knots, a record held since 2003 by Robby Naish.

Mr. Douglas placed second among all competitors at the Fuerteventura Kite Speed World Cup in Canary Islands, Spain, beating the current world champion and world speed record holder.

Douglas, chief executive officer of The Black Dog Tavern Company based in Vineyard Haven and the lone American in Fuerte, raced against competitors from all over Europe.

Fuerteventura, with its strong offshore winds, provided a choppy, gusty, wave-riddled course during the Grand Slam event.

The Speed Kiting Community was surprised to see the American holding on to a third place position after the first two days of competition.

On the fourth day, when Mr. Douglas crossed the line with a 42.21-knot average over the 500-meter course and a top speed of 46 knots, the judges quickly announced the new U.S. kite speed record was his.