A Force 6 and building sea forced Jeremy Waitt and Chris Burk to abandon their kiteboat round the Isle of Wight record attempt

After six hours and 12 minutes into their kiteboat round the Isle of Wight record attempt see news story here , Jeremy Waitt (30) and Chris Burk (21) were forced to retire.

Waitt and Burk from the Isle of Wight left Yaverland, on the south side of the island, at 1233 on Tuesday in Force 3-4 south-easterly. As they passed Cowes the wind freshened to a Force 4-5 (still from the south-east) with the tide which allowed for a quick passage up the Western Solent and within 30 minutes they were at the Needles. With the wind having increased to a solid Force 5-6, the pair’s passage from the Needles to Freshwater was a rough and daunting affair. With the tide and wind together slow progress was made. However, the two battled on for another one and a half hours reaching Brook (5.7 NM/10.6K) and covering a total of 35.6nm but, in a steadily increasing wind, the pair decided to call it a day with just 17nm to go.

Commenting on the attempt Waitt said: “It’s a real shame and we are obviously disappointed that we have had to finish here with only a quarter of the distance to go. However, I have experienced gale force winds many a time, and putting people at risk in bad conditions without real reason is no way to go about this challenge. It does however, strengthen the enormity of this challenge both on equipment and personnel. In a world where new and interesting challenges are hard to find, the Round The Island and Atlantic Kiteboat project offers that and much much more.

“Had the wind shifted slightly to the South then we could have completed the challenge. We will finish this trip after the gales have clamed down. Which will set the record for a kite trip Round the Island. However, the time will be easy to beat and it will not be a non-stop record. The decision to attempt a non-stop attempt at a later date will be dependent on sponsorship, as fuel and costs and time are mounting.”

Despite the obvious disappointment about not completing what they set out to do, the boys were in good spirit yesterday. Waitt continued: “We passed very close to the Needles lighthouse, we where going 20kts at that point.”

Chris Bull who was attempting a separate challenge, kiteboarding Round the Island also had to pull out at the Needles as conditions worsened. His 20m kite was too big in the strong winds. After changing down to a smaller kite with use of the safety craft Bull started to make ground but against the a strong ebbing tidal stream his speed over the ground was too slow to continue. Commenting Bull said: “I am disappointed but the experience of this has encouraged me to give it another go when the forecast and conditions are more advantageous.”