600 years later, Lufinha is ready to sail between Lisbon and Madeira

June 12, 2015 | Kiteboarding
Francisco Lufinha: sailing under the 25 de Abril Bridge | Photo: Francisco Lufinha

Francisco Lufinha is ready to take on the 2015 Mini Kitesurf Odyssey between Lisbon and Madeira Island, in Portugal.

Portuguese are the original ocean explorers. In 1419, João Gonçalves Zarco was the first explorer to sail from Lisbon to the Madeira Island.

Almost six hundred years later, Francisco Lufinha is getting ready to repeat the voyage with a board and a kite. The common variable in both challenges is the wind. Will it blow in 2015 like it did in the 15th century?

Lufinha relies on his experience in long distance kite marathons to complete the 1000-kilometer (539 nautical miles) journey between Lisbon's Terreiro do Paço and the Machico Bay.

But training and simulating the difficulties in real ocean conditions is compulsory, so Francisco Lufinha has tested the tricky start from Lisbon and rode under the 25 de April Bridge. The kite suffered a small rip, but the Portuguese rider rapidly sailed downwind until reaching the south margin of the Tagus River where wind conditions were much more favorable.

"On the 20th of May, the Portuguese Navy day, we tested the departure from Terreiro do Paço so that it runs smoothly. This maneuver is pretty tricky due to the unstable offshore wind, passing through all the obstacles of Lisbon's main square," explained Lufinha.

A few days before, Francisco headed to Madeira to simulate the arrival on the island and to understand what are the best wind conditions and if it was actually possible to arrive by kite at Machico Bay.

"I'm way more confident for the challenge! Let the wind begin to blow!" concluded Lufinha. The 2015 Mini Kitesurf Odyssey Lisbon-Madeira may get underway in June.

SurferToday uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info: