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Kite-surfing record

Bahrain News
Sun, 20 Mar 2016

BAHRAIN-BASED kite-surfer Anke Brandt has set a new record after completing a 298km trip from Bahrain to Doha in just over 17 hours.

The 32-year-old German national had originally planned to set a world record by completing a 550km journey from Bahrain to Abu Dhabi.

However, she had to abandon her attempt in Qatar due to unpredictable weather and changing tidal movements.

“By kiting for over 17 hours, I managed to break my previous record,” said Ms Brandt yesterday.

In 2014, she had set a record for travelling 250km in 12 hours around Bahrain.

Ms Brandt left Amwaj Islands at 4pm on Thursday and came out of the water at Doha at 9.30am on Friday.

“We tried to pick the perfect day but things can change and this time the weather moved in too fast so we had to make the call and stop at Doha,” she said.

Captain of the boat and Bahrain International Sea Services (BISS) Marine owner Nabeel Hijris said the trip had to be stopped at Doha due to safety concerns.

“We had set ourselves targets and had to be at way points at certain times using a certain speed so we could avoid a front which was coming in with high winds,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we weren’t doing that as the mission progressed and the boat wasn’t designed to bear those conditions.”

Mr Hijris hence made the call to stop the mission at Doha to avoid putting the team in danger.

Ms Brandt said kite-surfing at night was the greatest experience of her life.

“One of the biggest parts of the mission was kiting at night, which we did first since we left Amwaj islands at 4pm.

“Kiting at night was absolutely beautiful and a great feeling overall. We had a full moon and a clear sky making the conditions perfect. At times it was a bit harder to see, but in general everything you would worry about wasn’t there for me.

“It was tough for the team on the boat because it was hard for them to keep an eye on me but I never had a problem seeing or finding the boat so I always felt comfortable and safe.”

During dusk, visibility on the water proved challenging due to the changes of light.

“However, as soon as it was completely dark, it was perfect,” said Ms Brandt.

Two major challenges interrupted the journey, she said.

“The wind died completely during the night which meant we had to sit in the water an hour.

“We also came across a big fishing net and were lucky that the boat did not get stuck but had to find a way out of it.

“We also had tidal movements which changed. All these factors are very unpredictable and can make it or break it and, in our case, we just didn’t make enough progress during the night.”

Ms Brandt is confident that she would like to try kite-surfing the distance to Abu Dhabi again.

“There were many lessons we learnt and there was the likelihood that the first time wouldn’t work out because there are so many factors playing their part,” she said.

The record is now to be approved by Guinness World Record through footage and photographic evidence.

The aim of the GET Kite Mission – Kitesurf Arabia was to raise $5,500 for Wings for Life, an organisation trying to find a cure for spinal cord injury.

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