Ten years ago, Thomas De Wispelaere said: "One day, I'll jump over this pier."
On Saturday, December 8, 2018, the Belgium kitesurfer, 29, has finally accomplished his dream. De Wispelaere has successfully jumped over The Belgium Pier, in Blankenberge.
"This pier is special for Belgian kite surfers. I have been waiting for the right conditions for years. I needed eight-to-nine Beaufort westerly wind combined with a spring tide - and that is relatively uncommon," said De Wispelaere.
"I have been kiting around the world for more than 15 years. This kite jump was on my bucket list from the beginning. I trained hard for it. It is crazy what you can do with the elements of Nature, your own power, and a board. I really enjoyed it."
The structure is nine meters high. The kitesurfer's highest jump currently stands at 19.9 meters, so De Wispelaere knew he could land it. But because the wind was blowing strong, Thomas had to time the stunt perfectly.
A 16.5-Meter High Jump
In the end, the Belgian hellman jumped 16.5 meters high in the sky and flew a total distance of 37 meters.
Thomas De Wispelaere, who is a member of the Icarus Surfclub, in Zeebrugge, confirms that he did not take unnecessary risks by jumping over The Belgium Pier.
"It could have been the pier in Nieuwpoort or Ostend, but this one is more feasible and safer because you do not have to sail into a port channel," added De Wispelaere.
"To guarantee extra safety, there was a jet ski that could intervene quickly in case of emergency. If the risks were real, I would not have performed the jump. Because of my experience, I knew that I would certainly succeed."
Now that Thomas De Wispelaere has jumped Blankenberge's Belgium Pier, it's time to prepare for new challenges. But that will remain secret for a while.