Yes, he’s at it again and this time it’s Brighton Pier…
You might remember that the last time we wrote about Lewis Crathern was when he successfully kite jumped over Worthing Pier . So it was only a matter of time before this professional kite surfer, all of 25 years old, set his sights on Brighton’s monstrous Pier.
He needed a high tide to help reduce the height of the pier and a strong westerly wind to boost him the required height and distance, and so, the moment he judged those conditions to be right, he was off… hightailing it for the coast and this jump of all jumps…
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. “I was on my six but I could feel it just wasn’t holding me up enough. When I did Worthing pier I was on my seven and could barely hold it down,” he said, and went back and swapped his 6m for a 7m.
Alerted by Lewis that today was D-Day, Kiteworld MD Rob Darling was there to witness the spectacular show along with other members of his crew. “We were looking down on him as him came closer and closer to the pier and clearly see his face . He was getting tighter and tighter into the corner and soon he would have to choose to jump or bail onto the beach. His practise jumps hadn’t seemed big enough, but I could tell from his positioning that this could be the run. My adrenaline was pumping just watching, he must have been on fire! A really good ramp came up in front of him and I knew he was going to launch. Knowing this stretch of water, I have to admit I was absolutely shitting it. He was so close to the pier, any mistake would have seen him in the railings. He launched and flew straight up over our heads and cleared the chip shop by a big margin. Awesome.”
Making the most of winds of more than 60mph (96km/h) he cleared the 50ft (15m) structure with ease during stormy weather on Thursday, 11th November.
And what did he have to say about this amazing jump?
“It’s a nice view. Not many people can say they’ve had that view.”
Oh so casual!
But please, all you wannabe’s out there, this jump should NOT be attempted by amateurs – no matter how good you might think you are.
Lewis jumps with an experienced back-up crew. “I have a really good team that come and follow me so they’re all on the pier making sure the public can’t get between the area I’ve marked out – where I want to go. Safety is obviously a major concern … and I don’t want to put anyone else at risk,” he says.
A spokesman for the RNLI said they recognised that Mr Crathern was an experienced kite surfer and cleared the pier with room to spare but urged no-one else to try the stunt. Even Lewis, with all his sangfroid, says, “Brighton was a bit more difficult than Worthing because the pier is a lot higher. But I got a huge wave and went for it. I felt safe. I would never attempt these things if I wasn’t 100 per cent safe.”