João Rodrigues completes windsurfing odyssey in Selvagens Islands

June 14, 2011 | Windsurfing
João Rodrigues: a Portuguese savage fighter

João Rodrigues has entered the Guinness Book of World Records after sailing more than 160 consecutive miles (296 kilometers) between the Madeira Island and the Selvagem Grande Island, on a RS:X windsurf board.

The Portuguese rider completed the challenge in only 10 hours. In the first five hours and a half, he sailed at an impressive speed of 19 miles per hour.

In the last miles 30 miles, João had to battle with two-meter waves making it harder to reach the goal. The final average speed was of 18,6 miles per hour (30 kilometers per hour).

Rodrigues has been representing Portugal in the Olympic Games for more than 16 years and is one of the best RS:X windsurfers in the world. João decided to complete an old dream. Linking Madeira and Selvagem Grande, in open Atlantic Ocean, is not an easy task, but the experienced sailor knew he could do it.

At the same time, Rodrigues celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Selvagens natural reserve, the first of its kind in Portugal. The Selvagens Islands are the country's most southerly point. João is the first windsurfer to connect the two Portuguese islands.

João Rodrigues set sail at 6h45 GMT from Madeira with 17-knot winds and reached Selvagem Grande at 17h GMT, where he was greeted in the Cagarras bay by the local vigilants.

Watch the highlights of this historical journey.

  • It's official. The World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) ratified two new outstanding accomplishments in windsurfing and kiteboarding.
  • Dutch environmental activist and windsurfer Merijn Tinga, also known as the "Plastic Soup Surfer," has made an audacious journey from Oslo to London, braving the North Sea's currents and winds, to call attention to the pervasive problem of plastic pollution.
  • Imagine gliding across a frozen lake, your sail catching the wind, and skis slicing through the ice and snow. Meet the sport that blends the thrill of windsurfing with the crisp, cold beauty of winter landscapes.
  • Planing is one of the most exciting skills you can master while windsurfing. It usually separates beginners from intermediate and advanced sailors. But what is the minimum wind speed to get flying over water?

The Surfing Christmas Gift Guide for 2023 | Explore our Christmas gift ideas for surfers