Francisco Lufinha will cross the Atlantic solo on a kiteboat
Francisco Lufinha aims to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a kite-powered trimaran.
The experienced Portuguese kitesurfer adapted a multihull boat capable of navigating rough seas using a towing kite propulsion system.
Lufinha hopes to leave Portugal and arrive in the Caribbean three to four weeks later, depending on weather and ocean conditions.
The solo mission is estimated to be around 3,620 nautical miles (6,700 kilometers), and it is his most daring project to date.
The boat pulled only by the force of a kite also has solar panels and a hydrogenerator, which means that no fossil fuels will be used during the crossing.
Francisco Lufinha plans to cross the Atlantic without a support boat powered only by wind power.
The kiteboat is the result of three years of research and development.
The kitesurfer and his team had to combine the characteristics of a light and fast trimaran with the benefits and advantages of an almost standard kite.
Lufinha will test the prototype boat off the Portuguese coast and on the high seas with more demanding conditions.
Push the limits
The kitesurfer hopes to launch his adventure in November 2021.
“During the crossing, I will test my limits like never before”, revealed the Portuguese sailor.
“I’m going to have to control the kite in the air for days on end and get over the accumulated fatigue of only sleeping 20 minutes at a time.”
“I will also have to make my own clean drinking water through a desalter and feed on dehydrated meals, all while I try to stay on the right track and navigate through the winds and tides until I see again. Earth.”
Lufinha has teamed up with a German specialist to develop a system that allows the boat to control the kite using technology.
“In the first phase, it’s electronic. I have a joystick instead of pulling my arms. This system, which we are still testing, takes the kite in the air to make a few circles on its own. so I can sleep on the go, ”added Lufinha.
“All of this is powered by 700 watt solar panels and a hydraulic generator, a propeller that generates power at my speed.
The athlete will be in communication with the Portuguese Navy in the event of an emergency.
“In the event of an accident, which can always happen, like hitting an obstacle or a sunken container – we have to anticipate these scenarios – I have a series of safety equipment that I can activate, so that nearby ships will know where I am, stressed Francisco.
A world record
The Portuguese adventurer has been pushing the limits of kitesurfing for almost a decade.
In 2013, Lufinha set a new Guinness World Record for the longest kitesurfing trip after covering 307.5 nautical miles (569 kilometers) along the Portuguese coast.
A year later, he flew his kite for 12 hours between the wild islands (Ilhas Selvagens) and Funchal in Madeira, Portugal, for a total of 303 kilometers (163 nautical miles).
In 2015, the Portuguese was unable to fly a 1,000 kilometer (539 nautical mile) kite between Lisbon and Madeira, but completed 874 kilometers (472 nautical miles) and improved his previous record.
Finally, in 2017, Francisco Lufinha and the German kitesurfer Anke Brandt made a crossing of kites interspersed between the Azores and mainland Portugal.