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Thread: An unusual crossing from Saint Martin to Saint Barth

  1. #1
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 55,580

    An unusual crossing from Saint Martin to Saint Barth

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    As if to defy compelling motives, a young man of 16, Chucho Nonnot, challenged himself to cross the thirty kilometers between Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin. A trip made on Tuesday February 2 in a surf-foil, a kind of surfing mounted on a keel, much faster than a classic surf and assisted by a paddle.

    How did you get the idea for this crossing?
    I had already seen this kind of sailing with Kai Lenny, a water sports idol, who made the junction between two Hawaiian islands four or five years ago. Here, between Saint-Barth and Saint-Martin, conditions are similar and some have already made the trip by paddle in particular. The connection came about naturally, being a big fan of surfing and foiling I went for it. This feeling of flying above water since there is no friction is unmatched.

    How did you choose this particular day (Wednesday 3 February)?
    We had to wait for good conditions, wind of course, and avoid precipitation. That day the south-easterly wind was "down-wind" which means it stays on the surface and allows good speeds to be reached without having too big waves which hamper progress. The start was from Frégate (an island opposite Saint-Jean), so I knew that the first half hour would be difficult because the winds are very changeable in this area. But as expected, the swell was much clearer once past Fourchue Island.

    How did you prepare for this athletic performance?
    As I said, surfing, sliding, is above all a passion. Now it is true that the simple fun and the adventurous side are not enough since this is a physical and mental challenge. It's more of a marathon, and a marathoner prepares by running. So I prepared myself by surfing to tell the truth. We had to eat light before departure (10 hours), and especially hydrate a lot with mineralized water because we sweat a lot in this kind of practice! You should know that I covered about thirty kilometers, due to the winds, in 1 hour and 52 minutes. In such an ordeal, the body blocks all unnecessary functions after 25 kilometers, such as the stomach or the liver, hence the advantage of eating little beforehand.

    Did you have any impromptu encounters during this trip?
    Just a ray which made a nice jump behind me shortly after Fourchue, but if we want to talk about sharks, no, none. Even though the keel of the foil may look like a fleeing fish, which has the gift of attracting the fins, I had no fear. The danger is minimal in my opinion, the day after the attack in Orient Bay, I was already in the water after consulting some wise people.
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party Memorial -- June 5, 2023

  2. #2
    amyb is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 28,664

    Re: An unusual crossing from Saint Martin to Saint Barth

    Tell us, How did you keep your negative test results dry?
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  3. #3
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 11,265

    Re: An unusual crossing from Saint Martin to Saint Barth

    Good one Amy.
    What terrific shape he has to be in to accomplish this. Just going back and forth across Grand Cul de Sac a couple of times in good wind is challenging.

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