Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kitesurfer injured at Brighton

A kitesurfer was reported injured today at Brighton in The Age.

"Fierce winds flung a kite surfer five metres into the air before he crashed into sand and broke his arm
on an inner Melbourne beach this morning."

"The 29-year-old man was kite surfing at Brighton beach when a strong gust of wind picked him up, hurled him through the air and sent him smashing into the ground."

"A few people on the beach saw what happened and came to his aid. They had to hold him down until they released his harness because the wind gusts threatened to send him into the air again."

"The kite surfer was taken to The Alfred hospital in a stable condition."

Information on Seabreeze indicates that the kitesurfer:
  • was experienced (about 4 years kiting)
  • was on a 9m kite (which is not a big kite)
  • was overpowered by a strong gust of 30-35 knots as he came in, having spotted an approaching storm front
  • deployed his safety after being lofted and impacting the beach (contrary to the news report).
I have had a few good sessions at Brighton recently, but over the last couple of days of gale force wind warnings - which have gusted up to 45 knots - I have not gone out.  You can see how strong and unpredictable recent winds have been in the images below.

I have also posted warnings on this blog about exercising great caution when kitesurfing in northerlies at Brighton, and in storm fronts, as documented in my Kitesurfing Handbook here.

So please spread the word - if in doubt, don't go out.

And if don't have at least 1 year and 30 sessions experience, don't go out in these conditions either.

Let's keep kiting happy and safe.

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