HTC Atlantic Kite Challenge: 27 days in the water

The HTC Atlantic Kite Challenge has successfully been completed. Six kiteboarders have sailed more than 7800 kilometers in the first ever non-stop kiteboard crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

Filippo van Hellenberg Hubar, Camilla Ringvold, Max Blom, Eric Pequeno, Dennis Gijsbers and Ike Frans set sail from the Canary Islands on the 20th November, and arrived at Turks and Caicos, in the Caribbean, on the 17th December.

"We finished off the end of our milk and juice two days ago, and the last bottle of water yesterday. The only drinkable liquids left is the tap water supplied by the water maker", the riders wrote only 24 hours before touching the Caribbean.

The kiteboarders have ridden through schools of leaping flying fish, left trails in bioluminescent algae at night, sailed next to whales, passed sharks, and faced storms, lightning, and becalmed conditions where no progress could be made.

The six kiteboarders were accompanied by a catamaran, a Lagoon 500 called the Double-A, with five crew members including the Dutch sailing professional Erik van Vuuren as team captain.

Every kiter took two two-hour shifts per day – one in the daytime and one at night – so one member of the team was always out on the ocean going the distance.

The HTC Atlantic Kite Challenge is the world's longest downwind adventure. In 1998, the first ever TransAtlantic Windsurf Race (TAWR) connected St. John's Newfoundland, in Canada, to Weymouth, in England.

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