5 records to break

‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.’ With this inspirational quote in mind, why not try breaking a world record? We’ve already selected five Portuguese examples, so all you need to do now is to go for it. (Perhaps helped by some prior training and sorting out stuff like money, crew and equipment). 

Plus, especially for the armchair world record breakers: five times option B. Also adventurous, less of a struggle. 

Background picture by Ryan McGuire

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine October 2017


1. Kite from the Azores

Do as Francisco Lufinha and kitesurf from the Azores to mainland Portugal. In September 2017 the Portuguese kitesurf champion set a new world record, together with the German Anke Brandt, by kitesurfing the 1,646km journey from the Ponta Delgada Marina on São Miguel island to the Oeiras Marina near Lisbon. Want to try this at home? On his website, Lufinha explains the four pillars of his challenge: meteorology (think 33ft waves), security (you might want get a Navy rescue boat to help you out), resistance (aka a lot of physical preparation) and motivation (because without it, you can’t achieve anything).

Option B: Follow some kitesurfing lessons and try to kite from Fuseta to Ilha da Armona and back without getting dragged onto the Atlantic Ocean by the current.

Picture below by Virginia332


2. Walk very fast

Rather stay with both feet on the ground? See if you can keep up with Inês Henriques. The Portuguese race walker has covered 50km in just 4 hours, 8 minutes and 25 seconds in January 2017, thus establishing the official women’s world record for the 50km race walk. She did this during the 35-kilometer and 50-kilometer Race Walking Championships that were held in Porto de Mós (in Portugal’s Leiria district). Henriques is no stranger to long distance race walks; she finished 12th in the 20km at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Option B: Go for a leisurely stroll around the Algarvian countryside without your stopwatch. (Have a look at page 11 for more info about walking routes in the south of Portugal).

Picture below by Samuel Blanck


3. Row the ocean

Join Dutch adventurer Ralph Tuijn and cross the Atlantic Ocean in a rowboat (obviously not the one pictured below). Departing from Lagos in December 2017 and 2018, this world-record attempt will try to break Tuijn’s previous record of crossing the more than 6,000km in 51 days and 19 hours. Don’t expect luxury as the boat has no shower, no toilet and limited possibilities to cook, which means you’ll ‘live on a diet of high-calorie freeze-dried food packages and snacks’. No TV either. Instead, your entertainment will come from ‘extreme weather, painful saltwater sores, blisters on the hands, wind, storms, 10m high waves and unfriendly sea creatures’. Think you’re tough enough? Sign up for the expedition here.

Option B: Canoe from Alcoutim to Mértola (in the Alentejo) on the Guadiana river. Managed to do that without sinking? Up the stakes and participate in next year’s Guadiana challenge.


4. Go globetrotting

Think you can travel the world faster than Gil Azevedo? This Portuguese traveller holds the world record for the fastest circumnavigation on scheduled flights, which he did in February 2017. In just 55 hours and 47 minutes, he flew from Shanghai (China) to Auckland (New Zealand), then on to Buenos Aires (Argentina), Paris (France) and Moscow (Russia), before ending his journey again in Shanghai. Instead of being inspired by Portuguese explorers like Vasco da Gama and Diego Columbus, Azevedo got the idea for his trip after reading Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days.

Option B: See what destinations can be reached from Faro airport and book a return flight to a nice city. (If it’s really nice, forget about any records and stay away for longer than 55 hours). Alternatively, try to get through Olhão on a Friday afternoon in less than 10 minutes.


5. Brave the waves

Follow the example of Garrett McNamara and surf a monster wave on Nazaré’s Praia do Norte. Although the French Benjamin Sanchis allegedly surfed a wave of 108 foot in 2014, McNamara’s world record of the highest wave ever surfed on this planet still stands with 78 foot (over 23 metres), as was confirmed in March of this year. (The Hawaiian surfer already did this back in 2011; the guys at Guinness World Record book just took some time). Nazaré, the best place for surfing crazy high mountains of water, is located on Portugal’s west coast between Lisbon and Coimbra, about 375km from Faro. It boasts the highest waves in winter time and is not suitable for anyone who’s not a super-pro.

Option B: Go to Praia do Amado, hire a foamie and try to catch a wave. Bonus points if you manage to stand on your surfboard when it hasn’t reached the beach yet.


See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine October 2017

Posted in 5 algarvy things, Activities.