Francisco Lufinha: connecting Azores to mainland Portugal | Photo: Kitesurf Odyssey

Francisco Lufinha and Anke Brandt have successfully completed the kite cross between the Azores and mainland Portugal.

The Portuguese and German kitesurfers rode their kites and foil boards in the Atlantic Ocean for around 888 nautical miles (1,646 kilometers). That's a new world record.

The journey kicked off in Ponta Delgada, Azores, on the island of São Miguel, on September 4 and ended in Oeiras, Portugal, on September 13.

Lufinha and Brandt traded intercalated morning and night shifts and always kept going. They faced huge waves and swells, cloudy skies, shifty winds, currents, and sudden wind drops.

"Our hands are in a mess from grabbing the kite bar, the knees are in pain because of the waves and forcing a course, and my neck is also giving signs because we are always facing left in a static position," explained Lufinha.

Francisco Lufinha: carrying the Portuguese flag as he reaches Lisbon | Photo: Kitesurf Odyssey

"We get tingling and pain, which only stops after an hour out of the water. Resting onboard is a bit relative because the boat is always bouncing. Nevertheless, it allows us to recover our energy."

The team supporting the kitesurfing duo included four skippers, one photographer, a doctor, and a physical therapist.

"It is very gratifying to have achieved this new goal and set a new world record. Ten days later, we were able to finish this incredibly hard crossing, which demanded a great deal physically and psychologically speaking," added Lufinha after arriving at the Oeiras Marina.

"In the end, Anke and I, and the entire support team, are proud of this achievement. And I'm even happier because four years after my first odyssey, I finally managed to connect Portugal by sea."

Anke Brand and Francisco Lufinha: they complete a 1,646-kilometer kite cross between Azores and Portugal | Photo: Kitesurf Odyssey

Lufinha completed his first kite cross in 2015 when he connected Porto and Lagos (564 kilometers in 29 hours). One year later, he linked the Selvagens Islands and Funchal (306 kilometers in 12 hours).

In 2015, he set a new Guinness World Record for the longest kiteboarding journey after sailing 472 nautical miles (874 kilometers) in an attempt to connect Madeira to mainland Portugal.

Anke Brandt is also a kite marathonist. In 2016, she set a new Guinness World Record for the longest distance ever kitesurfed by a female rider. Brandt sailed 303 miles (489 kilometers) non-stop between Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.

"It was a very demanding crossing, especially since I came across a sea and a kind of strong swell with which I was not familiar," said Anke Brandt.

"But the joy of having overcome this challenge beats all the feelings of difficulty that we faced. It was a great pleasure to discover the Azores and the fantastic Portuguese sea alongside Francisco."

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