João Rodrigues: pride of Portugal

João Rodrigues will try an open ocean crossing between the Madeira Island and the Selvagem Grande Island. The Portuguese windsurfer has always dreamed to successfully complete this 160-mile journey and will expect to reach the goal in 12 hours.

The epic windsurf challenge wants to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Selvagens natural reserve, the first of its kind in Portugal. João Rodrigues also aims to resurrect the oldest way of travelling by sea: "being blown downwind".

The Portuguese RS:X champions has been windsurfing and representing his country for more than 16 years, in the Olympic Games. Rodrigues is a very experienced windsurfer and has already conquered the World windsurfing Championships, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 1995.

João wants to promote the Portuguese natural heritage and to invite everyone to visit and admire Madeira's Natural Park and its vast biodiversity. The open ocean cross might be tried on the 2nd of November, when Rodrigues celebrates 40 years.

The European windsurfing champion as represented Portugal in 121 international competitions and won 51 medals. He is training hard for the upcoming London Olympic Games and will be the ambassador for the European Windsurfing Championships 2012, to be held in Funchal, Madeira, in March.

João Rodrigues is a graduated engineer from Lisbon's Technical University and will certainly reach the Selvagens Islands, Portugal’s most southerly point, in a RS:X windsurf board.