Francisco Lufinha: 36 hours in a pool

Francisco Lufinha will try to complete a 1000-kilometer (539 nautical miles) kitesurfing challenge between Lisbon to Madeira Island.

The Portuguese kiteboarder expects to complete the goal in between 36 and 43 hours, which means two nights crossing the stormy waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

If successful, Francisco will not only be the first person to connect the Portuguese capital to the Madeira archipelago on a kite board, but he will also break his own world record of the longest non-stop kite journey.

In 2013, the intrepid rider sailed for 307.5 nautical miles (569 kilometers) along the Portuguese coastline and set a new Guinness World Record. Now, the stakes are very high.

"The first two odysseys already tested all my limits, but in this journey everything seems extra difficult and new," notes Lufinha, who graduated in Engineering and Industrial Management.

"All the physical and psychological training do not seem enough; I've been giving my best to overcome the difficulties and to achieve my goal of connecting Portugal in kitesurfing. I've been working very hard, and my team has also been giving its best."

Francisco Lufinha plans to set sail between June and July 2015, depending on the meteorological forecast given by the Portuguese Navy Office. Of course, he knows all the dangers involved in the odyssey: strong winds, big swells, lack of visibility, debris, floating iron containers, and container ships will be around.

In order to prepare for the enormous Lisbon-Madeira adventure, Francisco spent 36 hours non-stop on top of his kiteboard in the oceanic swimming pool of the Oeiras Marina. He wanted to test his body's physical and psychological reaction to an uncomfortable situation.

"Having people there visiting and talking with me was without any doubt very important. Between 5am and 7am was the hardest moment for me, I began to feel some physical pain and got very sleepy," reveals Lufinha.

"During these two hours I had the support of Paulo Raposeiro and Diogo Cardoso, both members of my team, with whom I invented a little game to keep me awake: throwing a bottle of water while counting how many times we could pass it from one to the other in 30 seconds, without letting it fall. Each time we tried to improve the last result."

At 9pm of Saturday, Francisco stepped out of his kiteboard and celebrated with all that were in the pool to salute him. Madeira is already on his horizon.