Australian Champion Kitesurfer Chases Waves On Queensland's Great Barrier Reef

29 September, 2017

Australian Champion Kitesurfer and Sunshine Coast local, Ben Wilson, has released a new documentary-style video on YouTube following his first-ever kitesurfing adventure to Queensland's Great Barrier Reef. The footage showcases secret surf breaks that form on the reef on rare occasions and which are known only to locals.

Kitesurfing on the Great Barrier Reef was a long-time dream for Ben who is well-accustomed to reef-pass breaks, holding the world record for kitesurfing the largest wave ever captured on film, Cloudbreak at 35-foot in Fiji.

When wind, swell and tides aligned in April this year, Ben and photographers Stu Gibson and Tom Rawlins raced 500km north of Brisbane to chase the waves off the coast of Gladstone.

"The feeling of kitesurfing the Southern Great Barrier Reef for the first time was just incredible,” he said. “It's everything you imagine it to be – blue water, schools of fish, nobody around and all lined with colourful coral.”

Ben, who has fished the Southern Great Barrier Reef for years, had heard rumours of remote waves that break off the reef under certain conditions; their exact location remaining a tight-lipped local secret. 

"It took me about fifteen trips over two years, and dozens of conversations with locals, to plan this kitesurf mission. The preparation that went into it was intense, with safety a major concern.

“The rest was completely up to Mother Nature.”

Ben's Great Barrier Reef adventure was more than just kiting and when the wind dropped, he found himself more aware of his surroundings at one of the world's most beautiful places.

“The Great Barrier Reef is one of the natural wonders in the world - a place that people from all corners of the planet come to see.

"We snorkelled with turtles, saw dolphins play in the water and caught fresh emperor and coral trout for dinner. 

“I can honestly say that this was the best part of the trip. We came to kitesurf but we took away so much more.

"It is amazing to think that this is in our backyard. You sometimes forget just how beautiful Queensland is. You are so focused on the next overseas trips that you overlook the incredible places right on your doorstep. 

“I feel very blessed having been able to kitesurf the Great Barrier Reef.”

Ben sees a lot of potential for Queensland's reef breaks and is patiently waiting for the swell, winds and tides to align to film part two of his Great Barrier Reef kitesurf series that will focus on the action and waves in their biggest and best form.  

“This is just the beginning,” he said.

Ends

Click here to view the video. Mandatory credit: Ben Wilson.

 

Click here to access B-Roll footage and interviews, high-res images and background information.
Mandatory credit: Ben Wilson.

 

For more information and interview requests please contact:

Chelsea Hauschka, Tourism and Events Queensland

Chelsea.Hauschka@queensland.com

Phone: 07 3535 5662 / 0414 828 640

 

Word Count: 495

Author: Chelsea Hauschka

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