36 year old New Zealander Louis Tapper has just set a new record in the kitesurfing world – a 2000 km downwind journey along the coast of Brazil from Salvador to Sao Luis armed with a kite, one board and a backpack. He has only been kiting for 3 years.
“To put the scale of 2000km into perspective, crossing from Australia to New Zealand in a straight line or following coastline of New Zealand from top to bottom is the same distance,” he said.
Why Brazil? “I had the choice of anywhere in the world and there is consistent wind there this time of year and there is just long stretches of beach. It’s warm, the food’s good and the people are nice, so why not?”
However, the trip was not without incident. Witness this photograph – a kiters worst nightmare, expecially when you’re going for a record, is this…
“It took myself and a passing fisherman an hour 45 to unwrap me,” he said.
Tapper undertook this journey with no support crew and was reliant on the hospitality of the locals to keep him going. “Some stretches of the coast are very remote so I was having to stay on the beach or with fisherman in their huts with them.”
Word passed down the coast ahead of him that a ‘loco’ man on a crazy kite surfing mission was on his way.
The current non-official kitesurf journey world distance is held by Eric Gramond who completed a 1450km, 13-day trip also along the coast of Brazil.
The official Guinness Record up until this point has been for distances completed in less than 24 hours. The current record is 333 km.
Tapper’s adventure took 30 days and was not only about setting a new world record, it was also about raising money for SurfAid – a charity looking to help communities in isolated surfing regions in Indonesia.
In real life Tapper is it IT risk management. It is obviously the perfect training for high risk enterprises! yakernz08