Bruno Sroka Kitesurf Champion is going to kitesurf across the 100 nautical miles of English Channel and attempt to beat the world record of 5 hours 20 minutes. To mark the occasion of Kitesurfing’s inclusion as an official Olympic sport in the Rio 2016 Games – Sroka will promote the sport doing what he does best – Undertaking a Serious Sporting Challenge! 

About Bruno – Bruno Sroka is France’s number one kitesurfer. He has won the Course Racing World Cup 3 times, as well as winning the European Championship 3 times. He is the first and the only kitesurfer to cross the Cape Horn by kitesurf. He is also a philanthropist&actively promotes the Green Cross, Peace and Sport, l’UNSS, of which he is an ambassador. 

Contact press release: pr.brunosroka@gmail.com Follow me: twitter – @brunosroka; facebook – fan athlete page bruno sroka.

2012, May 17

I just broke the record for crossing the English Channel by kitesurf and became the first kiteboarder that reached the Olympic Games city! 100 nautical miles or 186km I made it in 5hours. 

I left the beach at about 9.30 a.m. thursday morning 2012 may 17 from Saint Brieuc bay in Brittany (France) the port that is called Saint Quay Portrieux and took the direction towards the Brehat island from where I have started my 100 nautical miles across the English channel crossing. For the first 20 miles I decided to warm up my muscles and get adjusted to the conditions. Already then my speed was 22knots. I chose 13m kite because it was quite difficult to estimate the strength of the wind all the way through the crossing. After checking the weatehr for the last three months I was assuming that 13m kite could be a golden medium. The first difficulty that I run into was a seaweeds. I was trying to spot them as early as I could and avoid them. I knew that if the fins will catch the seaweed I will fall off the board.

The official departure line was Brehat island. Right after I left the island I have been greeted by unwelcomed surprise: the channel turned into the boiling, lively water. The only way I could pass it was to go as fast as I can and do not fall. As we were moving forwards the channel was getting rougher and tougher. The wind got stronger and right about then I decided to change the boards. So from the race board I switched to the speed crossing board that I have developed specialy for this crossing.

Once we were coming closer to the middle of the channel the conditions were getting tougher and tougher. The security boat that was accompanying me was passing through 3m swell. Even if the boat was specialy equiped and ready to cross the open seas, over there it was facing the real sea adventures. As we were obliged to maintain the speed the boat was going at about 27 knots, surfing the waves and then at the botom of the wave crashing into it and slowing down, trying to do not tip over. I would like to say many thanks to my team (Yannick, Olivier, Maxime, Nicolas) for coming along with me! Without you the crossing would be impssoble.

I was expecting to cross a few shipping tankers in the middle of the channel but unfortunately I saw them only in a far distance. They were going at about 25 knots and that was impossible to catch any of them.

Meanwhile right about then my legs were getting terribly tired. I have been kiting on one leg in the same position for about 2hours. And after, as it seemed to me endless time, I noticed the birds flying, and then I knew that I am aproaching the land.  There were few times when I confused the shipping tankers with an islands and thought that the finish line is not that far. I have been anounced that I have another 1h30min to go and when I was getting to the end of the crossing and had 35 miles left I started to accelerate even faster maintaining the avarage of 23 knots speed with the highest peaks at 27knots of speed. I was feeling tired and my legs were sore but I didn’ allow myself to think about it and was concentrating on not falling down. You could only imagine the joy that I felt when the team told me that there is only 2 miles left. I accelerated and felt the big energy boost.

And here it is, the finish line! The team shouts out loud: you beat the record, you beat the record! It is still quite hard to show my emotions since I was freezing, sore and tired but once I climb up to the boat I was taken by the joy and emotions of my team!

I was starting to realise that all this hard work that I did to cross the channel and the crossing itself is now a new record. I am feeling thrilled as well to know that I am the first kitesurfer that reached the Olympic Games city in London. Kitesurf officialy is intergrated in the Olympic games of 2016 in Rio!

Official new record for 100 nautical miles is 5h.

2012, May 15

Long time no see… Couple of days ago I received a very surprising (in a very good way) letter from Manu Bertin – the first kitesurfing across the English Channel record holder since 2004.  Apparently he have heard about my attempt to cross the english channel by kite and wished me best of luck and good wind. This is such a motivating message! Thx Manu!

Regarding the crossing, I am still on the stand by waiting for good wind direction that would be blowing all the way through the crossing. As a matter of fact the weather has been so unstable and brtittany is most of the time in the center of depression. I do have an expectations to leave before the end of this week though. In a mean time I keep exchanging the info with my team and we are ready to leave any time.

2012, may 9

Rose up at 4.30a.m. while everybody were still asleep. Thoughts and excitement made me wake up. I knew that the challenge, the expectations and the adventures will make my day. Had everything set: the boat pilot Yannick had his boat set and waiting for me at the harbor, the camera man Loic, the photograph Nicolas and helicopter pilot Thierry (that have been flying over my head in the wide waters so many times) had their gear ready too.
Strangely when I stepped outside the thick fog greeted me. This made me worried for a little moment but thought that by the time when we will be leaving it will be gone.
6.30a.m. we are at L’Aber Wrac’h harbor (Brittany). The fog is so thick that you barely can see the lighthouse, the rocky coast. Called the coast guard and they told us that they can not see their garden, the fog is so thick and it drizzles. Getting the call from the helicopter pilot that is at about 250km from where we are, saying that he doesn’t have a permission  to take off. Patience – thought quietly in my head. We decide to call every 30min and check how the weather evaluates. Slowly the fog is moving away from north coast so we all were keeping our expectations that it will move away pretty soon and heli will be able to fly.
At about 10 o’clock we had an information that the coast is quite clear but the visibility around Ouessant island is 100m. The helicopter still doesn’t get the permission to take off. We decided to leave without it. There won’t be an images from helicopter but we will get the photos/video from the boat. Setting up and ready to go. Unfortunately the wind have changed the direction. It is impossible to continue this way and expect to break the world record of English Channel crossing by kitesurf. It gets pretty dangerous understanding that I will need to kite in between the big shipping tankers in this low visibility.
We get no further then 15-20 miles away from the coast and decide to call of the try to kite across the channel. I want the record, not the second place.
I am checking the good weather condition window and will get ready up and go once I will see it is possible to leave.

 

2012, May 8

Its been quite a journey to organize the English channel crossing. The weather has been playing cat and mouse with me and the french coast guards where cruelless in giving the authorization to cross the channel. Quite understandable: to stop the big shipping tanker is a long procedure.. and if you are on its way – though time for you. But its all done. Got my approvals and after checking again the weather I decided that it is now the perfect timing. Especial with the kiteboarding that just got approved in the Olympic games of 2016 in Rio! The synergy between my desire to break the world record by crossing the English Channel and the things that have bee happening around I decided to cross the channel this week.

Its been already a few months that I have been working on discovering the facts of the crossing, checking the channel, the currents, the waves and wind, developing the special equipment and training physically. I had so many chats with an old fisher men that has been out in the ocean for many many years now. There was so much to learn from them. Also the coast guards were giving me even more information about what is going on in the middle of the channel, where the highway of the shipping tankers is. And I believe the the brightest point of the crossing just happened this weekend: kiteboarding in the Olympic games. So motivated.

As for now I am leaving for the crossing maybe tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or another day… stay tuned and keep checking the news. This is happening now!!

2012, April 30

2012, April 22

2012, London Olympic games.

I have been keeping the Englich Channel crossing idea in my mind for so long and now it seems that I found a perfect sense to it.

There are so many of us that have been wanting the kitesurf to become an official Olympic Games sport discipline and this year it seems that it will happen.

One day I wish to participate in the Olympic games and for this reason I thought that I could not find any better way to express my sportive spirit as beating the existing world record France – UK 100 nautical miles in less then 5hours 20 minutes. The first kitesurfer who set the world record was Manu Bertin (in 2004) and my main goal is to create an olympic spirit and become competitive by beating the record.

Through the years people were challenging themselves out by crossing the English Channel. There are quite a few of us that tried to cross the shortest part of the channel but the short part channel crossing doesn’t have that sportive spirit. This is why I will cross 100 nautical miles and will be the first kitesurfer that arrives to the Olympic country coast.

During the winter I have been training at bay de St Brieuc (where I am an ambassador) and working on the technical part of the project and I believe that sometime very soon I will be ready to leave for the “coast to coast” project

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