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 Post subject: Kite Surfer Saves Surfers. (Mad Sydney Kiter Part 2)
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:45 pm 
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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.


Last edited by Trant on Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:05 am 
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respect indeed, thats bravery, verging very very close to lunacy, but he's definately the sort of guy you'd want to ride with.

respect.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:47 am 
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Well done Mark! That is some story and with a happy ending allowing for painful feet and a messed up board. Still that is making a solid statement through action as a true waterman. Putting skill and courage up against a bad situation and prevailing. Thanks for passing the story along Trant.


Last edited by RickI on Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:12 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:49 am 
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Mark for president,

i respect some people so much its just not naturally human.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:17 am 
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Mark you rock buddy!

Fuel on your back?... man!

Well done


Dazza 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:36 am 
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Damn, this guy has balls and heart of gold!

Where does this guy normally kite and what does he use?
Personal Description? Will have to salute him the next time I see him!

On thursday the waves were forecasted to be about 10ft in Sydney, was at Maroubra and it was such a sight! Went down to Yarra to see if I could kite and there were waves breaking. Yarra's like totally flat year round!
Anyway I only had a 14m and ended up not kiting.


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 Post subject: Bravo!!
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:36 am 
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bravo!! that's what this sport is all about.. helpin out your brother or sister!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:52 am 
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Location: Mauritius, waterman since 1960
Only fools and heros die young.
Nico


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:50 am 
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Handle Punk'd wrote:
Damn, this guy has balls and heart of gold!

Where does this guy normally kite and what does he use?
Personal Description? Will have to salute him the next time I see him!

On thursday the waves were forecasted to be about 10ft in Sydney, was at Maroubra and it was such a sight! Went down to Yarra to see if I could kite and there were waves breaking. Yarra's like totally flat year round!
Anyway I only had a 14m and ended up not kiting.


Hey handle punk'd what's Yarra like ? I normally go to Brighton but it's getting way crowded on weekends with too many learners.
Need somewhere to ride with not so many people.

What direction is good for Yarra, I'm local to Yarra

cheers


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:51 am 
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Hey Kiki 128,
I haven't kited at Yarra before, but the locals (mostly guys at botany bay kiteboarding) reckon its good for South Westerlies. When its side off shore from Maroubra its side onshore at Yarra. They conduct lessons there too. Its flat.

Place is alright but the beach is kinda small in my opinion. When I was there on thursday there was no one out and it was high tide so there wasn't much beach. I only dropped by coz its the closest spot to my place so i wanted to have a look before heading down to botany.


Looking at the Map i think it should be good for Southerlys too. Guess its a good idea to drop by to see if anyone's out before you do. It was SE on thursday if I'm not mistaken and the wind there was REALLy gusty.

If you REALLY wanna escape from the crowds, maybe you can try Kurnell, its a bit of a drive but its a good spot, nice and flat.. good for westerlys and pretty much most wind directions. OR you can try the Northern beaches.. Narrbean has heaps of space... just gotta watch the shore break.

Otherwise if you're like me living near Maroubra I guess Dolls point in botany bay would be the closest place with the least crowd. Slightly lesser than Brighton in my opinion. I never had a problem with space there (on the water)

Hope that helps
cheers


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