Alastair McLeod becomes the first to sail Pedra Branca
By George Ierodiaconou
Australian Windsurfer Magazine editor Alastair McLeod has written himself into the history books becoming the first windsurfer in the world to sail a wave so fierce that it is known in surfing circles as the gates of hell.
Pedra Branca is a rock island covered in bird shit, 26 kilometres off the southeast coast of Tasmania. The wave there is the stuff of nightmares: a giant, thick-lipped right-hander breaking into deep, dark water. Many in surfing circles shun the wave, frightened of its unpredictable and heavy nature.
The wave Al rode today is at least four times mast height, an 8 to 10 metre face.
The SHQ and JP Australia team rider has been preparing to be the first to wave sail this wave for almost a year. Part of his preparation involved getting out to Phillip Island and getting slammed by the shore break and practicing holding his breath at traffic lights.A defibrillator to bring Al back to life was in the medical kit. This world exclusive story will be in the next edition of Australian Windsurfer Magazine and a feature length documentary on Al’s amazing achievement will be aired by Red Bull. Stay tuned for more on this amazing story in our Spring Edition.