British yachtsman Alex Thomson has established himself as a daredevil of the sport of sailing. Yes, sailing.
If his name sounds familiar, you were probably one of the 4.5 million people who watched one of his previous death-defying stunts. The Keel Walk and The Mast Walk were pretty amazing, but Thomson couldn’t rest until he completed the trilogy of stunts.
So what did he have planned for his encore? This latest stunt involves Thomson, on a kiteboard, chasing his IMOCA open 60 HUGO BOSS boat upwind and attaching himself via a rope to the top of the boat’s mast. He then utilizes the speed of the race boat to propel himself 280 feet into the air, sending him surfing above the vast HUGO BOSS yacht. When Thomson reaches the peak of his flight, he detaches himself from the boat and expertly controls his descent back down, landing the kiteboard on the water in true Alex Thomson style, all whilst wearing a stylish BOSS suit.
Without further ado, behold the insanity that is The SkyWalk:
Having safely returned to dry land Thomson commented: “The previous two stunts that we carried out – The Mastwalk and The Keelwalk – were so successful that, as a team, we just knew we couldn’t stop there. We were all in agreement; we wanted to do something even bigger and better.
“I’ve always had a love for all things wind-powered so naturally a stunt which involved kite surfing was the next step. The idea of combining two of my favorite sports and executing something which, to our knowledge, had never been done before was really exciting.
“The team and I have been planning the stunt for a long time. There were lots of things that could have gone wrong. Perhaps most concerning for the team; was the prospect of an uncontrolled descent, causing me to come back down too fast. Water can be as hard as concrete if hit with enough velocity, so this was one of the most dangerous aspects of the stunt. But I had a brilliant team around me and, with their help; we managed to pull it off.”
So what’s next for Thomson? In November, he will be competing in the Vendee Globe, a 3-month round-the-world single-handed yacht race, sailed non-stop and without assistance. The race is held every 4 years, and the rules are simple: You touch land, receive any help, boat breaks down, whatever, you are automatically disqualified! Less than 100 people have ever finished this race.
Thomson competed in this back in 2013, where he finished in third place. This time around, he’s determined to be the first Brit to win the prestigious title. We wish him the best of luck!