Alex Thomson completes the "Skywalk" 280 feet up in the air

March 15, 2016 | Kiteboarding
Alex Thomson: he used the speed of the yacht to rise up to 280 feet

British sailor Alex Thomson has completed the "Skywalk," a death-defying kiteboarding stunt that propelled himself 280 feet into the air.

Alex Thomson, 41, loves testing his limits. And that is exactly why he decide to involve his two greatest loves: kitesurfing and sailing. Where? In the beautiful and windy spot of Alvor, in the south of Portugal.

Despite his fear of heights, the British daredevil wanted to do something dangerous and innovative. The goal was to chase his 69-foot IMOCA boat, attached via a rope to the top of the boat's mast.

Thomson would use the speed of the yacht to rise up to 280 feet, and "surf" above the black-and-white boat sponsored by Hugo Boss. He had the right clothes, but did he have the cold blood? Susi Mai was there to help and give advice.

"Basically, I will try to jump twice as high as the height of my mast. It is incredibly dangerous. At a hundred meters, that's your limit for opening a parachute. So, if I was to drop out of the sky I could be seriously injured." explains Alex Thomson.

The team tried to go in between 18 and 20 knots of wind, but if it got stronger, the stuntman could have problems. Finally, Alex grabbed the 120-meter rope, began flying, and the adrenaline started flowing.

The 40-second descent was always dangerous because losing control of his kite would result in disaster. Fortunately, everything went well. In four weeks, Thomson made 13 attempts and three successful landings.