Alastair McLeod is the first windsurfer to ride Pedra Branca

August 13, 2015 | Windsurfing
Alastair McLeod: controlling fear at Pedra Branca | Photo: Carey/Red Bull

Alastair McLeod has become the first ever windsurfer to ride the monster waves of Pedra Branca, in Tasmania, Australia.

The intrepid sailor guided into the massive wave faces by Marti Paradisis and his crew. His first attempt almost ended up in tragedy. McLeod could not control the rig and wiped out. Timing is key to success, but when you've got a big sail, it's never easy.

Alastair wanted to take off deeper, but the wind conditions didn't allow him to do it. The Australian rode four waves, each one bigger than the last.

Alastair McLeod: wiping out in Tasmania | Photo: Carey/Red Bull

"The biggest was about 10 meters - that's about double mast-high. But it's thick and nasty. When I was dropping in, it looked like the whole ocean just turns in on itself. I've never seen waves like that before. They were just turning inside out," explains McLeod.

"I think the wave is better for windsurfing than surfing because you have the freedom to outrun the second section if you want to. But not many people would bother - it's not like Jaws. It's so hard to do, and it's such a wave of consequence."

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