National Kite Surfer Tiger Tyson said he fulfilled a long time ambition when he successfully circumnavigated Antigua in record time on Friday, 17th February.
Tyson achieved the historic feat during the Antigua 360 Race, the fifth in the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Nelson’s Cup Series, which involved a highly competitive and varied fleet of International Rating Certificate (IRC) offshore boats, Class 40s and Multihulls.
Following the start of the Antigua 360 race, the Antiguan and Barbudan kiteboard sensation started his attempt, successfully ripping around Antigua in 2 hours and 38 minutes, eclipsing the round Antigua Record held by Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo3 yacht by six minutes.
Tyson, who spoke with Vernon Springer on Monday’s edition of Pointe On De Streetz on Pointe FM, expressed his elation in overcoming challenging weather conditions, including 25 knot winds and a three metre swells, to accomplish his goal.
“Boy, it is something that I’ve always wanted to do but never had the right chance. I have tried it a couple years ago, but the weather is always really bad on the day of that race for some reason and this year, it was the same thing,” Tyson said.
“The wind was very stormy – there were lots of big waves and a lot of seaweed out there – so, it wasn’t easy, but I am glad I did it. Finally, I managed to achieve it, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.”
Kiteboarding, or kitesurfing, is a sport that involves harnessing the wind with a large power kite which pulls the rider across a water, land, or snow surface.
It combines the aspects of paragliding, surfing, windsurfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, and wakeboarding.
Tyson said he did not start the Round Antigua race with the intention of breaking the record, however, once he realised that achieving the feat was possible, he pushed ahead with renewed vigour.
“To be honest, I just wanted to complete the course, but then like once I got about halfway to three quarters of the way around, I was looking at my time and I realised that I actually had a chance to catch the record,” Tyson said.
“So, I started pushing a little more and on the last leg going up, I kept looking at my watch to see how far I was and I was really close to the finish line with about 10 minutes to go.
“I thought that I got it then, but around the finish line there was so much seaweed and there was no wind by the finish because I was behind a big hill which was blocking the wind nicely.
“So, just before the finish line, I actually crashed and I thought I wasn’t going to make the finish line and I was so vexed but luckily, I managed to come back up and finish the race.”