Kitewhaling | Photo: Newspix

David Sheridan, 42, was riding his kiteboard, while lurking in the water just a few feet below was a whale. As the New South Wales man surfed, suspended beneath a large kite, the whale smacked him on the back of the head with its tail.

"It all happened so fast that all I could do was crouch down as the whale swam under me," Mr Sheridan told Sydney's Daily Telegraph. I saw the huge shape and my reaction was to duck while remaining attached to the flying lines from the sail above me".

"The next thing I felt was its tail come up and hit me on the back of the head. I honestly thought I was gone – it was such a forceful blow – but then the whale eased off and I was able to sail away. But my legs were really shaking. I've never been through anything like that before and probably never will again."

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Jesse Richman

After four days of wind, the prize giving ceremony of the Essaouira Kiteboard World Cup 2008 took place at the beautiful Hotel Atlas Essaouira & Spa. The governor of Essaouira came to congratulate all the competitors for their show and thank the organizers for the success of the event.

Thanks to the amazing wind and wave conditions, we managed to complete three disciplines: Freestyle, Wave and Course Racing. The riders of the KPWT have reached a very high level. They are really astonishing on the water. Their performances really get better every season.

The Essaouira Kiteboard World Cup 2008, Final of the Kiteboard Pro World Tour, has been a huge success and there is no denying that we will come back next year with the KPWT caravan. Many thanks to the sponsors who support the event, to the riders who create the show and to the organizers who coordinate this beautiful event!

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Anne Quéméré

This is it, the solo mariner succeeded in casting off in direction of Tahiti from San Francisco at 10 :32 :03 (local time) on Tuesday November 4th.  This corresponds to 19:32:03, in France.

Anne Quéméré set off in a bright 'Frisco sunshine and leading away from the bustle of the USA elections!  This incredible adventure is the beginning of the Adrien Challenge. 

The long wait was well worth it.  This morning, all conditions were met for the launch of the Adrien Challenge: Great sunshine and a North by Northwest wind in the range of 20 to 25 knots.  That wind is expected to hold for the next three days, along 123° west, keeping Anne out of range of the cargo routes.

A wonderful departure

The sun was shining on 'Bay City accompanied by a steady wind.  What more could one ask for the start of the Adrien Challenge? After a last briefing and the final checks on board the Oceankite, Anne Quéméré was towed to the Departure point, under the Golden Gate Bridge.  From then on, Anne was on her own, manoeuvring the launch of the kite that would take her to Tahiti. 

This meant pumping the kite borders, launching the various lines, lifting the anchor and finally, raising the kite. It took her over 45 minutes to really consider the adventure "launched".

Good bye

Once the kite was airborne, the mariner waved goodbye to the few people who had come to see her off, in spite of the call to head to the voting booths, to elect a new president. Anne was quite satisfied by a wave and these few words "We'll see you soon in Tahiti!".  No false modesty there, but rather contained enthusiasm...

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