Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: drifting towards some wave bashed cliffs, and no one to help
Kite U.S. Forums > Industry Resources & Information > Resources > Knowledge Center
Remember the dude (Mark Barnett) who kited in double overhead swell and off-shore winds in Sydney a few months ago? Well, here's a story from a week ago that I'm surprised no one has posted yet. I'm sure he'll kill me when he finds out I posted it but I think it's well worth people knowing what he did.

On Thursday last week, Sydney experienced huge swell and some strong wind. Not sure of the exact wave size but I think somewhere in the 4m range. All Sydney Ferries were cancelled if that's any indication.

Anyway, 3 local kiters, Mark, Troy and Darren, decided to have a go at Queenscliff on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. There's a good bombie there which was catching the swell nicely. They had to share it with a tow-in surfer but there was plenty of room for everyone. Wind at that point was around 13-15knts with 20-25knt gusts coming through. (Each of the three are great watermen, experienced kiters and long time surfers) According to Mark, a good time was had by all three.

Just as darkness was falling the wind really started bulleting through, Mark was the only one left out and he was starting to make his way back in when he saw the tow-in surfers waving at him madly. They were downwind of him and near a cliff, but Mark goes down to investigate anyway. It turns out that they've run out of fuel! Anyway, Mark promises to get help and somehow manages to work his way upwind and back into shore.

Remember, it's massive swell, the wind is occasionally bulleting through at up to 25-30knts and Mark is on a 14m kite. Mark is pretty strong and experienced in strong winds, but even he was being knocked over in the stronger gusts.

Anyway, Mark goes up to the Clubbies at the RSL and tells them whats happening out the back. The clubbies are reluctant to go out to help so Mark volunteers to go back out with a jerry-can of fuel for them!

With darkness falling and time running out, Mark shoots straight back out with a backpack loaded with the jerry-can. Somehow he survives to make it out. There's more story about what happens next but basically he manages to give them the fuel and is now left with the problem of getting back in. He's had to work his way into a very dangerous position to give them the fuel. He's just upwind of a cliff and the wind gusts are knocking him over when they come through and the lulls aren't strong enough for him to be able to go upwind. Given little choice, he tries to dart back in (one hand on his safety of course). On the way, he's knocked off his board, loses it, and is forced to body drag the rest of the way in. This is the point where Mark, normally unflappable, said he was "extremely worried". He cut his feet pretty badly on some rocks but eventually got in to the beach. To top it all off, he then helps the tow-in surfers put their jet-ski back on their trailer.

He recovered his board from the rocks on the cliff, but it's pretty badly smashed up. (Still useable, but will need some repairs)

The jet-ski owner promised Mark a crate of beer for his efforts, but has yet to deliver.

Anyway, Mark's no idiot and yet he knowingly put his own life in danger to rescue the 2 surfers and their jet-ski. I think he deserves a bit of respect. If you know Mark, buy him a beer next time you see him.

reposted from;button=forum
Reading about kiting in those conditions makes me feel sheltered in the comfy environs of shallow and flat StClair. Ill buy that guy a pint if I run into him.

Reminds me of some tough times though, Thanks to everyone who has ever given me a hand! It can really help when a Bro has your back.
Sounds like Mark has huge balls. The kind of guy you like to have around. Fuel strapped to his back. Are you kidding? I'll buy that guy a keg of beer.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2017 Invision Power Services, Inc.