Had some trouble yesterday

Recovering from an interesting kite-experience I had in the middle of the Bering Sea yesterday: 70 km/h storm picking up to more; monster waves came up like houses – up to 5 meters – my board broke and disappeared in the ocean, my leash ripped, Geza’s kite broke, lost my GPS, and all other communication tools broke down also… Happy when our fabulous Rescue Team managed to pull us out of the 2°C cold water,..feeling good now and preparing the next attempt.

PS: don’t tell my Mom 😉

Foto: Maurice Lacroix Bering Strait Expedition

Finally – images from Alaska

Here you find some pictures of our team, tons of luggage and even some snow in July 🙂

Geza, André and me in our beautiful kiting suits – believe it or not, they keep really warm, even in 2 degree cold water.

That’s me and some packages in a small, small plane

Snow in the middle of summer – nice!

Tons of luggage have to be moved for our trip

A cute little Inuit girl

The adventure continues

Guys, we almost made it: During our first try to do the crossing, we made 80 km within record time of only 2 hours 15 minutes. We already saw the Russian coast, only 20 km left and going fast – about 40 km/h on our kite boards – when suddenly a really strong currency drove us into a wind pocket and foggy walls behind the Russian islands. At some points I couldn’t even see Geza and André or our boats – scary!

With no wind left there was no chance to go on, there were times when we were lying for 30 minutes in 2 degree cold water – which was really scary too. We tried restarting the kites but didn’t succeed.

The whole trip took us six hours, in the end we were completely soaked and freezing. A violent storm came up when we returned to Alaska with ice-cold water and breaking waves. About 200 meters in front of the coast we had to jump off the boats and swim the last distance with our sleeping bags in hand (waterproof packed). The strong wind and waves drove us 500 meters south to where we were actually about to land – it was like Navi Seal training!

Under those conditions there was no chance for the boats to land in Wales, so they had to drive 100 km to Teller and land there – in storm and four meter high waves.

Back in the base camp, our school in Wales, we were really exhausted but still “hungry” and immediately checked when we can go for the next try.

If all goes well, the wind turns and the storm ceases during the next few days. We have to wait until the sea calms down – and with good winds we will be out there again, sure that we can make it. I keep you posted!

Ready, steady, GO!

The trio started for Russia! Here are some impressions of Boris the camera man: 17 knots wind, 10 degrees Celsius, bright sunshine, moving clouds and small waves – and the certainty that they’re gonna make it. At 11:23  local time the three adventurers (you could even call them insane) started kiting for a new world record. In case they have enough strength left in their arms and fuel in the tanks of their accompanying boats they will return to Alaska straight away – on the same route they came. No one has ever done this before!

Quote Constantin: „That’s what I’ve been working for the last eleven years – go on kiting no matter the wind and waves – let’s rock Russia!”. Quote Geza: “I’m so excited – but we’re kiting and not chicken out!” Quote André: “Let’s go – I wanna prove everyone that we can make it!”

Back and forth

We are having some action here looking for the best conditions for the crossing. In the last few days we went from Teller to Wales – then back to Teller and then again back to Wales. All by boat or the smallest of planes. But nothing fit really. But we are optimistic that we will soon find the right spot to start!

Arrived at Nome, Alaska

Hi folks, we finally arrived at Nome after a 24-hour flight from Zurich, Switzerland. We have really strong winds here and storm clouds, it’s also quite cold: 2-5 degree Celsius. Yesterday we went for a test ride with the kites in extreme conditions and had to wait for the 6 meter high waves to calm down a bit so the boats could go out too. That is why we’re still here in Nome – hopefully we can make the three-hour boat trip to Teller tomorrow. On Friday, we plan to do the first try for the crossing. Spirits are good, we’re all pretty excited! I keep you posted – and you guys keep your fingers crossed!

Interviewed by Forbes

A few weeks before I took off for the Maurice Lacroix Bering Strait Expedition, Kym McNicholas from Forbes interviewed me on the project. She also wrote a nice piece on me in her blog. Have a look!

Press release – Departure for the big adventure Alaska

Today Constantin Bisanz heads off for the Bering Strait

Berlin, 10th July 2011 – The adventure finally starts: After several months of preparation and training, Constantin Bisanz and his two companions, the brothers Geza and André Scholtz, set out for Alaska. Their objective: Being the first to cross the Bering Strait from Alaska to Russia – surfing on a kiteboard.

It is the world’s roughest and coldest part of the ocean, characterised by unpredictable currents, strong winds and water temperatures of only 2 degree Celsius. Nevertheless, the trio faces the adventure of the Maurice Lacroix Bering Strait Expedition.

Once arrived in Alaska they have to set up their base camp, get prepared and wait for the right weather conditions. “We might start after only two days or after six weeks. Waiting for the day with the best wind and weather conditions is the greatest challenge for now, apart from the sportive strain”, says Constantin Bisanz. “But we are confident and really looking forward to the challenge!”

 
The expedition live on the web

Follow the expedition live at www.constantinbisanz.com and on www.beringstraitexpedition.com. There you find recent blog entries as well as photos and videos about the project.

Constantin Bisanz on Facebook: http://facebook.com/constantin.bisanz
Constantin Bisanz on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/conbis

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Download the press release here: Press release – Going to Alaska