Just spoke with him on the satellite phone about an hour ago. He made it from Carnarvon to Blowholes y’day. Wind at Blowholes had just swung south and started to pick up. Looks like he’s launched the kite and just left the beach at 1207. Forecast is calling 10-15 knots from South initially, turing SW then increasing to 15-20 later, so Ian’s on the 10m Flysurfer today. Today’s target is the Gnaraloo/Toombstones region if all goes to plan, which is about 75km in point-to-point distance. Next possible stopping point is Coral Bay, which is another 90 km beyond Gnaraloo, so suspect he’ll tackle that bit on on another day.
Ian made the news on GWN7 last night. Here’s the clip:
UDPATE: Had a quick catch-up with Ian this morning.
With the forecast showing strong winds for the majority of the day, the decision to ride the 6m foil was taken and the launch from about 10km SE of Steep Point went without incident at 0907hrs.
The crossings were a big challenge but he made it safely to Carnarvon with no major dramas, landing at Carnarvon at 1634hrs. If you followed him yesterday, you’d have noticed that he slowed down dramatically for about half an hour off the end of the point at Peron National Park.
If you’ve been out there on the end of the Point yourself, you’ll be aware that it’s a humbling and majestic part of the world, but it’s unlike anywhere else I’ve ever seen. A dramatic meeting of red sand, bright blue/green water, blue skies and jagged cliffs makes for a majestic sight, but the combination of the cliffs, the point, the deep channel just off the point and the sections of reef rising further out does crazy things to the wind and the currents. You can toss a 50gram sinker in the water off the point on the end of your fishing line and it’ll get dragged along like a cork. The wind swirls around all over the shop and often changes direction from moment to moment.
Despite there being consistent 20+ knot winds for most of the mission earlier-on, he actually got becalmed for about half an hour after making the decision to head across to Carnarvon. A few km off the point the kite fell out of the sky twice and started blowing towards him, but he managed to get it relaunched and got on his way again. So much for the claims that you can’t relaunch a foil from the water! I’m sure Ian will elaborate later but he said the crossing to Carnarvon was extremely rough water, causing him to ride much slower than he could have done on flat water.
No dramas to speak of getting across to the mainland coastline. Along the way to Carnarvon he had to dodge quite a few sticks poking out of the sea floor but other than that, no other impediments or obstacles. He was hoofing off to get a coffee earlier this morning when I spoke with him.
We’d organised for GWN7 to interview him shortly afterwards. All going to plan, there should be a story on the GWN7 news about the mission tonight, so keep an eye out!
They had offshore winds in Carnarvon this morning, but the forecast was indicating it might swing around by afternoon.
The plan is to make a call based on what the condition look like and if possible, make a run to Blowholes or Quobba Station, then wait it out until the conditions improve. As of midday, it was still blowing a gusty ESE so still watching and waiting.
Just received GPS tracking info that he’s landed in Carnarvon. Incredible mission! Simply amazing. On the water non-stop from 0907hrs until 1630 hours without a rest. SEVEN hours of non-stop kiting — much of it in open waters. Total distance covered today: Roughly 170km.
Bet he’s stuck into a cold one about now!
More news as we hear about the trip — hopefully, later today!
This is going to get interesting really soon. From the GPS tracker info, looks like Ian and the boys drove to about 11km SE of Steep Point and he’s already pushed off and is headed for Denham. He’s cleared the point and now on a 25km run across open water before he reaches Denham. Holy Crap. Nail-biting stuff…
Haven’t heard from the boys since about 1:30 this afternoon when the GPS tracker checked in just south of the Hamlin Pools turnoff on NW Coastal Highway.
Given the weather conditions (30+knot Sou’easters and 4m swell) the plan was to drive to Steep Point and assess whether it was feasible to safely restart the journey from there, so I suspect they’ll be camped there tonight and check in tomorrow morning.
A few of Kat’s photos from yesterday as Ian was pushing off from Drummond Cove:
GERO! He’s landed! Tried to shadow him from Sunset to Drummonds but not even a chance on my 11m!. Gave up after about 500m and drove the rest of the way. Ian even manged to beat the car to Drummond Cove on the 17m foil! Beers and BBQ done, Ian’s already in the sack catching ZZZzzzzs in preparation for another go tomorrow. 440km in 4 days! Sensational mission so far! Great to see you in such great spirits and great shape!
After a day of nearly no wind and some well-deserved rest, Ian is back on the water again today — despite some unseasonal weather for this part of the world — thunderstorms for the past few hours and even about 2.0 mm of rain here in Drummond Cove.
At last check-in on the GPS tracker, Ian had made it about 35km — more than halfway to Geraldton from Dongara– and was beached–probably waiting for the storm to pass. At this rate, he’s likely to rock into Geraldton before 5pm today if the wind continues to blow as it has for the past few hours.
Ian has spent the day in Dongara today, resting up for the big trip ahead. Wind has hovered around 6 knot for most of the day, making any type of kiting near-impossible. Condition check in the morning and hoping to have a shot at reaching Geraldton. Updates to follow tomorrow.