China Tidal Bore Unofficial World Record Distance Surfing Record

Relates to Surf and Travel

Following the early reports of the distance surfing world record smashed on the Qiantang Dragon tidal bore in China the news is now officially out in the open. The official press release states that:

Following expedition leader Antony Yep Colas first scouting river trip on a jetski, Eduardo Bagé (Brazil) on a longboard and Patrick Audoy (France) on a stand-up board, managed to ride the bore for 1 hour and 10 minutes on a distance assessed at 17.1km.

The local papers headlined with foreigners break the law and a surfing world record and went on to report several altercations between the surfers and the local police following complaints from locals but in his press release Yep followed this up:

The situation changed when Chinese Authorities started to smell the economical potential of creating a possible surfing show on the river. Law has not changed yet but when surfers got wet again, many helped them to catch up with the bore hitching rides along the riverbanks!

While this is unlikely to be accepted as an official world record due to lack of GPS and an official adjudicator to observe that the very strict guidelines were adhered to it is an excellent acheivement and clearly opens up the doors for the Qiantang Dragon to become a new playground for surfers from everywhere! As Yep finished up:

Beyond an unofficial record, the main point here is that surfers have been changing Chinese Authorities perception of the recreational use of the river during the bore. If any surfing demonstration should be done for the next Olympics Games in China 2008, there it should happen !

I have to say my one disappointment from the news is seeing how dramatically the bore has been effected by the construction of the Hangzhou Bay bridge in the estuary - the world's longest trans-oceanic bridge. Before the turn of the century I made an agreement with my good buddy Steve King to surf all the tidal bores of the world. At the time international bore surfing was in its infancy and since has become the attention of the global surfing industry such that my personal goals have now changed. However while we set our ultimate goal at being the feared and infamous Qiantang Dragon I think on seeing the photos I feel the goal posts should be moved to the far more impressive and untouched Araguari river which Sergio has surfed at 4 metres plus.

Posted on Tuesday, Nov 06, 2007 at 10:55:02.

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