RNLI rescue 

A Fleetwood kitesurfer feared he was going to drown as he was dragged beneath waves. But today Mark Taylor was able to thank the RNLI for his life after a dramatic rescue more than half a mile off the port.

"I really thought I was going to drown at one point," said Mr Taylor, 32, of Queen's Terrace, who was unable to re-launch his kite because of a loss of wind.

He got into trouble while taking part in the popular activity on Saturday afternoon and was ready to abandon his gear and swim back to shore. But he was unable to operate the quick-release mechanism on the leash attached to his board.

He said: "I couldn't get the kite to relaunch. The wind had dropped and there wasn't enough to get it out of the water and I was just being dragged along. It was dragging me under every now and again. I had to turn round in the water and kick my legs just to stop being dragged under".

"It must have been about 20 minutes before I was rescued and I was absolutely exhausted. I realised I was going to have to stop trying to release all the gear so I didn't use all my energy."


PKRA Fuerteventura 2008 

Congratulations to Gisela Pulido and Aaron Hadlow for winning Fuerteventura Kiteboarding Grand Slam and to Charles Deleau and Fabienne D’Ortoli for winning the Course Racing event!

The Fuerteventura Kiteboarding Grand Slam 2008 draws to a conclusion with an exciting final day of competition under a perfect Fuerteventura weather. The temperature played between 28 to 30 degrees Celsius but the wind was back in greater force similar to the conditions two days ago. The wind packed a sustained speed of 22 to 36 knots with strong gusts which made it more difficult for some of the riders to land their moves. And if that wasn’t enough, the strong current also wrecked havoc on the racing buoys set on the course for the racing event. This prompted event director Olaf Van Tol to abandon the racing competition in the afternoon.

“We planned two races in the afternoon. In the first attempt to get a starting sequence, I saw one buoy was drifting so we had to reach for the buoy and fix it. So I went back to check for a second starting sequence then I noticed the buoy on the starting line was drifting also so that caused another delay. Looking at the time it needed to reset buoy #1, the second buoy would take much longer to reset and in much deeper water. The buoy probably lost its anchor so, given the time, we cancelled the games and called it a day. It was a bit disappointing but other than that, we had a great day,” said Van Tol.

The mandatory skippers meeting was held at 11:00am then the last ten heats of the freestyle double eliminations were held. After two hours, the freestyle wrapped up then a short one-hour break was held for lunch. After the series of technical difficulties on the racing course, the competition was called off at 3:30 pm.


Formosa Estuary 

After several accidents occurring in the estuary this year, Maritime Police have prohibited kitesurfing and windsurfing as a preventative measure, much to the displeasure of the sport enthusiasts.

The high-speed sports have been causing problems to vessels crossing the estuary and many other injuries have occurred due to these adrenaline fuelled sports.

Two days before the document prohibiting the sports was issued (July 9th), a woman was almost decapitated and a few weeks prior to that a windsurfer hit a small boat and was taken to Intensive Care at S. José Hospital with serious injuries, where he remains to this day.

These are only two examples of the several accidents that have taken place in the Formosa Estuary.

The Maritime Police say they do not object to the creation of “areas to practice these sports as long as safety measures are taken.”

SOURCE: Portugal News