How long have you been planning the stunt for?
I started thinking about the stunt as soon as we completed the Mastwalk. It all began with a bit of fun with the team and is now almost expected from Alex Thomson Racing . I am often asked ‘What next?’ after the Keelwalk and Mastwalk. We spent a long time preparing and training for the Skywalk. There were a lot of elements that had to come together to make it work, especially with the added factor of me kitesuriing rather than being on the boat for this stunt.
Why did you choose the Skywalk?
I have had the concept of the Skywalk in the back of my mind for a long time. Sailing is my full -time career, kitesurfing is my hobby. Being able to combine both to create the next stunt was perfect.
How did you prepare?
I am fortunate to know some really great professionals from the kiting world such as Susi Mai. I had several weeks training in Alvor, Portugal, where we developed the technique of attaching and launching. We practiced lifting behind our RIB as we worked towards the stunt behind the ‘HUGO BOSS’ Compared to the Mastwalk there were a lot more elements to coordinate in this stunt with the addition of me kitesuriing. It took a lot of planning for every possible outcome. If anything were to go wrong, we had to find a safe way out of it – and I had to overcome my fear of heights!
Who was sailing the boat during the stunt and what difficulties did they face?
Our Operations Manager Ross Daniel was helming the boat. Whilst helming Ross maintained a constant speed and ensured a steady course. This was critical for the stunt to go smoothly.