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HTC Atlantic Challengers Over Halfway Home

Six kiteboarders departed Nov. 20, 2013, from Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands to cross the Atlantic Ocean heading to Blue Haven Resort and Marina in the Turks and Caicos Islands, a distance of 3,720 miles. As of Dec. 9, they had only 1,550 miles to go and were skipping across the waves several hundred miles northeast of Venezuela, over halfway across the tumultuous Atlantic.

Below is an excerpt from the daily blog written by Eric Pequeno. Read more on the Enable Passion website: www.enablepassion.com/blog/

'In the complete darkness without any lights, I was playing it safe. Making smooth turns to keep my kite high in the air, and make sure my speed didn’t get too fast until hopefully my eyes would adjust. Everything was going perfect, taking on the darkness of the middle of the Atlantic, until about 45 minutes into my session, when the valve on the kite popped, and the kite deflated! I had just made a turn back in the direction of the Double A, when the kite began to fish out, fold on itself, and spiral into the water. I was several hundred meters from the boat, and immediately called Mayday. Dennis said back over the radio, “ were coming to get you buddy” as I laid in the water in the pitch darkness while I waited. Within minutes the yacht was right beside me, however due to the 20 kts of wind, they came in too fast and were unable to furl in the sails in time so flew right passed me. What an intense feeling it is to see the boat going by me, further, and further away, not knowing how long it would be before I would be picked up.

Without a doubt the thoughts of sharks going through my mind more and more the longer the time passes. Finally with all of the sails in, the Double A engined closer as the team got in position to first pick up the kite, then get me in. However on the first pass, the wind and waves were too strong, and pushed them away forcing another pass to try again. More time lying helpless in the water. On the second time around, they got the kite in the boat, and began to undo the lines. Considering I had already undone my release, in order to stop having the deflated kite continue to pull me downwind away, they pulled the lines in to the boat, and I made a swim for it. What turned out to be the most intense part of the ordeal, was being meters away from safety, and no matter how hard I swam, not being able to reach the back of the boat. At one moment, I thought Filippo had the board in his hands, and yet it was still cm’s away and again in moments I was out of reach. Captain Erik made the call to release the dinghy, and after a few more minutes of intense swimming, I was able to reach it and climb in. How great it felt to be back home!'


It is estimated that they will arrive around 17th December at the Blue Haven Resort and Marina. The new property is the ‘official arrival destination’ hotel for the Atlantic Kite Challenge. Here the team will be welcomed on the water by the Big Blue Unlimited kite and safety team and feted with a three day celebration that will include beach volleyball competitions, cultural exhibitions and fairs, the music of local bands, delicious cuisine and the enthusiasm of regional kiteboarding groups, resort guests and locals.

See their exact position here: www.enablepassion.com/live-tracking/



Added: 2013-12-12

Category: Editors Highlights

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