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February 6, 2023

Brian aims for kite surfing record

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Brian Kiss von Soly is on his way to Mebourne in an effort to break a world record. Photo supplied.

Paul Bibby

It all started when Brian Kiss von Soly was given the Guinness Book of World Records for his 21st birthday.

‘I went through it to see if there was a record I could beat’, the Ocean Shores resident and talented beer brewer says.

‘I thought the record for eating an onion looked doable, but it turns out the first bite absolutely burns and it gets worse from there.

‘Every once in a while, I’d take a look and see if there was a record I could go for’.

Fast-forward 14 years, and it appears Brian has finally found his Everest. On December 28, the 35-year-old embarked on a mission to complete the world’s longest solo kite-surfing journey.

Sailed out of New Brighton

Carrying a dry-bag backpack containing the absolute basics for survival, he sailed out of New Brighton Beach for an epic 40-day voyage of more than 1,300 kilometres, to Melbourne. 

‘Yes, it’s a world record attempt, but I’m seeing it as more of an adventure journey’, Brian says.

‘I just needed a bit of a reset, so I took 44 days off work and decided to go for it.’

‘It’s been lots of fun already. I’ve seen flying fish, massive turtle, dolphins, a seal or two. And I’m meeting lots of people too when I camp up for the night’.

Negotiating Australia’s at-times-treacherous eastern coastline without a support vessel will be far from easy.

There are many points throughout the journey where he will be travelling beside remote, rugged terrain, creating issues both in terms of finding a place to camp overnight and getting help if a problem occurs out on the water.

15 years of kite surfing experience

Despite having more than 15 years kite surfing experience, Brian still faces the possibility of misjudging the wind or having an issue with his gear.

‘There’s a lot of risk’, he says.

‘Wind is one of those things that is quite unknown. If it drops out suddenly then the kite can drop into the water, can get swallowed by waves, can tear…

‘But that’s half the fun – figuring out solutions on the fly’.

Fortunately, Brian is also equipped with the latest satellite and GPS technology.

If something goes seriously wrong, a single tap on his watch will see the nearest rescue vessel or helicopter swiftly dispatched in his direction.

The technology also helps him keep in touch.

‘I can get texts from people through the satellite, and into my watch. So I’m getting messages while I’m out there. And people can track me. I can make a 3D map movie of the journey. It’s amazing really.’

If all goes according to plan, Brian hopes to be pulling into Port Phillip Bay some time in early February to secure that long-desired place in history and, quite possibly, a nice cold beer.  

You can keep track of Brian’s progress at www.share.garmin.com/8M6E5.

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