Alba (daughter) and I took a little time out this week to visit my brother. His Windsurf Round Europe expedition saw him arrive in Dieppe, just across the English Channel from the UK.
I regularly find myself trying to explain what he’s actually doing, but usually fail. It’s such an out-there expedition. So I’m going to take this opportunity to explain it a little bit.
To be honest, it’s quite hard to explain even what windsurfing is these days, it’s fallen so far from its 1980s florescent pink wetsuits heyday. But it does still happen, just not like my brother does it.
What Jono has done is taken a normal racing windsurf-board and adapted it for long-distance solo cruising. He’s put a waterproof barrel on the back, in which he packs his food, cooker, sleeping bag, spare cloths etc…. Then he simply sails from place to place. Sometimes when he lands, someone is kind enough to put him up for the night and feed him, other times he simply uses his sail as a basic shelter and goes to sleep right on the shoreline.
In the summer of 2015 he was the first person to windsurf in this way around Great Britain (although two people had sailed around before, both had on-water support boats). In May this year he set off again, this time from the Norway Russia border, well inside the Arctic Circle, and has so far sailed nearly a third of his whole intended route.
These days it seems to be more and more common for ‘ordinary’ people to do extraordinary things, but I’m still gobsmacked from time to time at what Jono’s actually achieving every day he’s out there.
Alba and I are happy to report he seems relaxed and comfortable and in excellent shape for the many challenges that the French coast (and a European winter) will doubtless throw at him.
You can stay up to date with Jono’s trip from his website or facebook page. And don’t forget to buy his book to read all about his Round Britain Adventure!
Get the book here: