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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Thu, 7 December 2017

Professional Danish kiteboarder just set a tow world height record of almost 1,000 feet in Cape Town yesterday, with help from Volvo ocean yacht Team Brunel, writes Spike.

Jacobsen, who will be attending the Wavescape Film Festival premiere of his film The Jump at the Labia tonight (6pm), set the record at 277 metres (908 feet) while attached to the 30.3 metre (99.4ft) mast of Team Brunel's VO65 yacht.

The previous record of 244m was set by Hawaiian Jesse Richman, who achieved his record behind a speedboat. His record had stood for more than four years, until yesterday. You might remember Richman as the first kiter to get barrelled at Jaws. He said, flippantly.

The day before Jacobsen's record I was chatting about the audacity of the bid to keen kiter Dave Maxwell, head of SUP South Africa, at the Jack Black film evening on Tuesday (where we screened the Red Bull movie Paradigm Lost featuring prodigious, multi-disciplined talent Kai Lenny).


TOW PARTNER: Ready for liftoff tied to a 30m mast. Photo Ydwer van der Heide / Team Brunel

We marvelled at the brash daring of the stunt. I was not sure it was possible, physically, but also from a Cape Town permits point of view.

Well I was wrong. LOL. The world record was a fascinating and adrenaline-charged cocktail of careful planning, solid engineering and some real skill by Jacobsen himself, and the men on board Team Brunel taking care of the lift, and managing their role of acting as tow partner to a T.

Five hundred metres of line was dragged behind the boat to which Jacobsen connected himself. He kited along the surface of the sea in Table Bay, flanked by the city and Table Mountain, until he was ready for liftoff.


END OF LINE: 800m of line was used for the stunt. Photo Ydwer van der Heide / Team Brunel

The speed of the yacht Team Brunel took care of the rest. However, the release of the 800m line had to be controlled ... carefully. Team Brunel member Kyle Langford, a fanatical kiter himself, was in charge of the winch that connected Jacobsen to the boat.

After reaching the maximum length, Nick safely paraglided down to the water in 66 seconds. Don't think he would have had enough lift to stay up there.

Pull into the Labia at 6pm to meet the 30-year-old Dane, who is no stranger to doing extraordinary things with a kite. The Jump chronicles the story of how, in April this year, he jumped off the third tallest building in the world, the Burj al-Arab with his kite. The filmmaker, Louis Kingshigh, will also be in attendance, along with kiting veterans and professionals from the local and overseas kiting community.

He said on Facebook: "Today was quite the day. World record kite towup. I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with than the Brunel Sailing team, FairWarning, Virgin Atlantic, Richard Branson @cabrinakites"



SHOT BRU! Relief shows after the world record. Photo Ydwer van der Heide / Team Brunel

The Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival is screening a record 32 films at the Labia this year, many of which are premieres. Go to http://www.wavescapefestival.com/2017-films/ to see the programme, synopses and trailers or book tickets here https://www.quicket.co.za/events/37050-wavescape-festival-2017/#/

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