Great barrier Reef Kitesurfing marathon sails in to the record books

Aug 24, 2015 A group of sun soaked, exhausted but absolutely inspiring kite surfers recently sailed in to the waters of Torres Strait at the very tip of Queensland, breaking the current world kite surfing record in the process.

The 8-day Reef race saw the kite surfers spend at least seven hours surfing each day with the hope of not only breaking the current Guinness World Record but also raising funds for Macquarie University’s Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Research Centre.

Dr Nick Cole, leader of the MND research team at Macquarie University and co-founder of the event, had this to say:

“It feels good – feels really good. I mean the journey was fantastic. Really beautiful scenery but very, very tough. But to achieve it I mean I really didn’t think it was going to be possible 5 days in but yeah, we really pushed it and here we are,”

The team included a number of Macquarie University MND researchers, pro-kite surfer Jesse Richman and current world record holder for the longest kite surf, Dr Nick Levi.

Surfer Jess Syne from Sydney, who was attacked by a shark, said the marathon was drama-filled:

“I sat down – bobbed down in the water as we did all the time to reapply some zinc. Have a break. I was in the water for about 2 seconds and I just got a big thump in my back. Obviously I thought I want to get out of here. Got straight out of there. That was it. Later that night we saw there were some, a chomp mark in my bag and it had gone through my phone, it had gone through a few bags within my bag, but I wasn’t thrashed around. I wasn’t in the jaws of a shark. And I didn’t see anything big and dark, so yeah something had a nibble…For sure of course I feel a little bit sick to think that was something that had a nibble. What I was probably most upset about was that I had lost a thousand dollar mobile phone,” says Jess.

Jess’ brush with death came on the same day that she smashed the world record for the longest continuous kite surf journey by a woman sailing 300km on day 2.

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