20 July 2013
By David O’Sullivan
The first person to kite-surf from France to Ireland has been speaking to the media this morning in Cork. 37 year old Bruno Sroka is a three time world champion kite surfer. He left a beach in Brittany yesterday morning at 6.20 local time, and reached Roches Point, at the mouth of Cork Harbour last night at 10.40pm Irish time.
The 17 hour, 250 mile journey was sponsored by Tourism Ireland, who want to promote Ireland as a destination to continental holidaymakers.
Last night Mr Sroka was met by a flotilla of well wishers on small boats who escorted him to the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney was at what is the worlds oldest sailing club to congratulate the record breaker.
Mr Sroka will return to France by Ferry this afternoon [around 4pm] and jokes that he will need a two week break from kitesurfing.
He says the France-Ireland trip was a psychological challenge because for most of it he could not see land and had doubts that he was progressing Mr Sroka promises that when he returns to France he will spread the word that “Irish people are friendly”, he says the welcome he received last night was the most memorable from all his trips.
French Kitesurfer Bruno Sroka receives a gift of the Royal Cork Yacht Club Burgee.
Traditionally, the first time a member of one yacht club visits another, there is an exchange of burgees.
Exchanged burgees are then often displayed on the club’s premises, or in a persons home.