Kitesurfers Ben Morrison-Jack and James Weight have left Cape Grim, near Stanley on Tasmania’s North West tip just after 7am this morning, to begin their attempt at the first kitesurfing, non-stop, unassisted crossing of Bass Strait. |
Kitesurfers Ben Morrison-Jack and James Weight have left Cape Grim, near Stanley on Tasmania’s North West tip just after 7am this morning, to begin their attempt at the first kitesurfing, non-stop, unassisted crossing of Bass Strait.
With winds from a more southerly direction than expected the team has abandoned their original finish point of Inverloch and now have their sites set on a landing spot some where on the Victorian coastline between Lorne and Apollo Bay late this afternoon.
Attempt leader Ben Morrison-Jack knows the challenges and potential pitfalls of ocean crossings having crewed on three America’s Cup challenges and four Sydney to Hobart races, whilst good mate James Weight has no previous open ocean experience.
The pair will be accompanied by a support craft to monitor their crossing and lend assistance in case of an emergency, but under the terms of the record attempt, are not allowed any contact with the craft or its crew whilst the attempt is in progress. The support boat is skippered by Grant Wharington, famous for skippering the Skandia maxi yacht to a Sydney Hobart victory in 2003.
A kitesurf crossing of Bass Strait has never been attempted before. In March of this year windsurfer Alison Shreeve failed in her bid to complete a crossing suffering from mild hypothermia and cramps 80kms of the Victorian coastline, leaving the only successful, non-stop, unassisted crossing on such a craft with Nick Moloney in 1998.
Snickers the famous confectionery brand has recognised the ‘More Nuts’ spirit of the endeavour as the major sponsor of the world record attempt.
by Nalu Productions 3:23 AM Wed 9 Sep 2009 GMT
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