The new year started like the old one ended. With a crazy crossing. Fred Bonnef and Belar Diaz did it again. After the fabulous Ibiza – Spain Crossing with Annabel Anderson (96.5km in 14.5 hours) and the Gibralar-Ceuta and back crossing with Ramon Blanco (47km in 6.5 hours), they paddled from one Canary Island to another. Without an escort boat.
As the Ibiza and Gibraltar Crossing distances are hard to trump, they decided to add a bit of a challenge by using Fanatic Fly Allround 10’6″ Boards. Oh, and Fred had no Camelback. They paddled 25km in 2 hours, 25 minutes. From Playa Papagayo (Lanzarote) to Majanicho (Fuerteventura).
Sounds like fun? Read for yourself, Here is what Fred told me….
“I will summarize the crossing in two words: Magic and hard!
The basic idea was to take advantage of the north-easterly winds strong enough to reach the Canary Island Fuerteventura from Lanzarote.
Problem #1: We did not have raceboards … Never mind, we took two 10’6 Fanatic Fly Allround
Problem #2: We did not know where to start and which route to take.
Fortunately, Eric Terrien and Stephane Etienne directed us via telephone from Fuerteventura. Stéphane seemed a little uneasy, “Isn’t it a bit late to attempt to cross ?” which brings us to
Problem #3 It’s already 15:30 and it gets dark at 18:00
Problem #4: The wind is blowing from the completely wrong direction, our arms hurt after 10km already. But we still have the South Point of Punta Blanca to fall back to in case something goes wrong, as
Problem#5: We have no escort boat.
But after 8 km of crosswind, we finally get some downwind which helps us for the remaining km to Fuerte. We take a break and Belar gives me some water, because
Problem#6: I don’t have a Camel back.
Problem#7: We don’t have a GPS
The remaining 17km pass relatively quickly, we catch some great waves, it’s like on the Oahu North Shore….we share some waves with kitesurfers and windsurfers and then finally reach the beach (or lava) of Majanicho in Fuerteventura after 2 hours and 25 minutes.
Eric Terrien picks us up and brings us the the harbour where we arrive 5 minutes before the departure of the last boat back to Lanzarote. The journey ended as it began: hard! ”
Afterwards, I was curious how they managed to stay on track without GPS and support boat….here’s what Fred told me:
“We took Lobos island as a direction (you could see it perfectly from Lanzarote), and when we were 2 kilometers from there, we took the direction of Bristol, and then Majanicho”
Here’s what Belar said after the crossing:
“We had 15-20kn winds side on, that made us wonder whether the crossing was even possible…we did the first 10km of paddling almost entirely on one side, that was tiring. But then we were set for an almost perfect 15km. The last km along Fuerteventura’s north shore were pretty impressive with the waves breaking just a few meters from us against the rocks. By the time we got to Majanicho’s there was about 30min of light left, and it was pretty priceless to see the windsurfer’s and kiters faces when we showed up at the break and surfed a wave to the shore…”
Belar and Fred would like to thank Fanatic, Zütee France, Outside reef, Quickblade, Ion, Kelp Farmer, FBC Lanzarote, Russell Groves, Chris Rullieres, Stephane Etienne, Nicole Borronat, Eric Terrien for the support
I would like to thank Belar & Fred / www.sup-rider.com for the interview and photos.