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Byron Shire
October 4, 2022

Brian’s kite surf odyssey gets Guinness listed

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Brian Kiss von Soly has been given recognition by Guinness World Records. Photo selfie.

It’s official: the Shire has a new world record holder.

Ocean Shores resident, Brian Kiss von Soly, has just been formally recognised by Guinness World Records for completing the longest solo kite surf journey by a male.

More than 18 months ago, Kiss von Soly set sail from New Brighton Beach, with little more than boardshorts and a backpack, to begin an epic 2,780-kilometre journey to his parents’ house in Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay.

The ensuing five-month journey saw him travel through numerous stunning locations along Australia’s east coast, meeting a cast of colourful characters along the way.

No life jacket, towel, wetsuit

‘It was a pretty psycho journey,’ the local beer brewer reflects.

‘I didn’t have a wetsuit, a life jacket, or a towel. It was never about the record to be honest, I just needed a bit of a journey in my life.’

Having jumped through the bureaucratic hoops required by Guinness to prove the legitimacy of his record, Kiss von Soly had to wait another six months for it to be formally certified.

Last week, the email finally came.

‘I was pretty chuffed. First I called my mum. Then I ended up getting a bottle of Moet and another bottle of bubbly as well and went over to [neighbour] Hannah’s place to celebrate.’

Kiss von Soly has been far from idle since returning to dry land.

The Spangled Drongo

He and a group of friends and former colleagues have set up their own beer label, The Spangled Drongo.

The ale is on sale at several locations around the Shire, including The Farm, the North Byron Hotel, and the Ocean Shores Tavern.

They group are in the process of setting up a microbrewery in the South Murwillumbah industrial estate and have a new bar and tasting space in the centre of that town.

‘I’m grateful to everyone who’s helped out along the way – friends, family, even random strangers,’ he says.

‘I want to give a special shout out to my neighbour, Hannah Grace, who’s been really supportive.

‘I’m pretty busy with all the beer stuff at the moment, but maybe in the future I’ll plan another journey – maybe a team stint.

‘I’ll probably bring a life jacket next time.’

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