Rob Douglas, 37, son of Black Dog Tavern founder Capt. Robert Douglas, earned the title of fastest sailor in the world Monday by breaking the world kite surfing record with a speed of 49.84 knots.

Mr. Douglas accomplished the feat while competing in the Speed World Cup, in a small African town famous for strong winds. Mr. Douglas started wind surfing in 1987 and picked up kite surfing in 2002. He has hired a coach, Olympic medalist wind surfer Mike Gebhardt, to help him train.

The record not only distinguishes Mr. Douglas as the fastest kite surfer in the world, but technically speaking he is now the fastest sailor in the world. At 49.84 knots, he has traveled faster than anyone propelled by wind in any type of craft.

“It’s amazing,” Douglas said in a published report this week. “Coming from Martha’s Vineyard, it’s much more suitable for kite surfing . . . you don’t need as much wind.”

— Jim Hickey