The mast of a Volvo Ocean Race boat stands 33m above the water. While the crews regularly ascend the mast to tune the rigging, or get a better view of the course ahead, they certainly don't head up there to go flying off it. That's where Nick Jacobsen came in. The pro kiteboarder is now almost certainly one of the only people ever to go soaring off the top of the mast of a 21m racing sailboat.
See Nick’s masterful mast exit in the video below.
Jacobsen's biggest concern? "I didn't know how much the mast would be moving when I was up there," he says. "It can be nice and steady down on the boat – 33m up, it's going to be another story."
Jacobsen launched his kite into the air before being hauled up the mast via a harness. With the assistance of a friend who brought his board, he managed to get the board, keep the kite flying above his head, and then it was ready, steady, fly.
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Continually looping the kite around his head, Jacobsen was able to drag out his airtime, landing smoothly, quite a few boatlengths away from the sailboat.