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Kite surf attempt across Bass Strait. -

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ELEANOR HALL: Bass Strait's notoriously rough waters have long attracted adventurers attempting to
paddle, sail or even windsurf across them.

Now two Melbourne men are attempting to become the first to kite surf across Bass Strait as
Felicity Ogilvie reports.

FELICITY OGILVIE: There's the gentle art of flying a kite, and the skill of surfing and one extreme
sport that combines both.

BEN MORRISON-JACK: Kite surfing is basically getting towed behind a kite on a surfboard.

FELICITY OGILVIE: That's Ben Morrison-Jack. He and his friend James Weight are about to become the
first people to attempt to kite surf across Bass Strait.

JAMES WEIGHT: You use a harness like windsurfing and the harness takes most of the weight from your
arms. So you use your body, you use your back and most of the stress is on your legs as you are
going over bumps and over waves. Your upper body will get tired but it is not as physically
demanding on your arms as it looks.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The pair will leave from Stanley in Northern Tasmania on Wednesday morning. Mr
Morrison-Jack says 10 hours later they expect to land at Inverloch near Phillip Island.

BEN MORRISON-JACK: We have got quite a fluid plan because if the wind changes we might end up
somewhere else but the basic distance is about 250 kilometres. It could get a little bit shorter
but it will probably get a little bit longer.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Because you are kite surfing, aren't you completely dependent on the wind? If the
wind stops, will you guys basically be stranded in the middle of Bass Strait?

BEN MORRISON-JACK: Yeah, pretty much. That is why the weather information is such a crucial part.
We have to go with enough wind to get out of Stanley which is tricky and we also have to have
enough wind from the right direction in the middle of Bass Strait so we are not covering too much
distance jiving and what not and then the trickiest part of all is having enough wind to actually
finish on the other side so we have got to pick a place to land that still has the breeze coming

FELICITY OGILVIE: The weather forecast for their trip is good.

Tim Bolden is from the Bureau of Meteorology.

TIM BOLDEN: Generally the wind is only about 30 to 40 degrees from their path so essentially there
won't be much need for tacking and a bit of a tail wind so I imagine it will assist them.

FELICITY OGILVIE: They'll need ideal conditions because as James Weight explains the journey will
be risky.

JAMES WEIGHT: It is probably not a good place for kite surfing. That is what attracted us to doing
it because, you know, a lot of people think that it can't be done. It is all about the challenge
for us.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Ben Morrison-Jack has some idea of just how rough Bass Strait can get because
he's sailed four Sydney to Hobart yacht races. And he's used his yachting contacts to organise a
support crew.

BEN MORRISON-JACK: Grant Wharington, the owner and skipper of Skandia Wild Thing is going to be
following us in his speed boat and we have got some guys on there that will be looking at the
weather and monitoring it all and they will able to be in contact with them if something goes wrong
or if the wind dies out.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The friends have just got onto a boat in Melbourne and are on their way to
Tasmania - ready to turn around and hopefully kite surf their way back across Bass Strait and into
the record books.

ELEANOR HALL: Felicity Ogilvie.