When Ben Stookesberry and Jesse Coombs (Clear H20 films/No Big Names/Hotel Charlie/Team JK) set their minds to something, they accomplish incredible things. Their current trip to Brazil was to find the biggest waterfalls runnable, and run them. In the past two days their team has run two waterfalls over 100 feet tall successfuly! the first Anaconda Falls, and the second one, Salto Bela ran yesterday is 127 feet tall and what an impressive photo!Rafa (Mexico) Team JK since 2004 ran Anaconda, and Pedro (Brazil) Team JK since 2007 ran Salto Bela… They have another week and are still looking for more big drops in this category!
What I love most about these guys is that they are humble, approachable, wonderful people, who are also driven to accomplish things that would make most people sick at their stomach just thinking about.
Whether it is Ben’s Alceseca expedition in Mexico, opening up so many incredible miles of class v whitewater that had never been seen or run before, taking days to scout and run only a few kilometers at a time, or entering into Pakistan in the face of what American media calls the axis of evil, and shows a gentler, kinder face on the people, and an incredible amount of wonderful whitewater, or the current waterfall hunting expedition in brazil, you can count on them making history.
At a time when there is a lot of pushback from the “industry” on big waterfall running being a focus, one can’t help but to see what these guys are doing and be inspired. Their inspiration should offer all of us a wonderful example of how it can be done.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of Team JK .
I also want to credit David Knight for his hard work in both designing the Rockers and Heroes that have been put to the test and successfully pushing the boundaries of what has been run in a kayak.
the Boat Armor outfitting, cross linked plastic, uni-shock bulkhead, sure-lock backband, Sweet Cheeks, etc. all come together in a boat that can withstand incredible abuse and impact, while protecting it cargo, the paddler.
Life isn’t just about big waterfalls, as we all know. but for these guys, on this trip, it is. They have set a new bar that will clearly make anyone thinking of following in their footsteps think twice. 127 feet high is 100 feet taller than a 27 footer. you can break your back on a 27 footer if landed wrong.
Good luck in your last week there Guys! I can’t wait to watch “Hotel Charlie 4: At your own risk” yes, I want the first production one, thanks!
here is what Ben had to say today…
We took a frame from one of the angles for you to check out!
Yesterday the 4th of March, 2009, Brazilian kayaker and fellow Brazil World Record Attemt Expedition member Pedro Olivia shattered the existing world record (108 foot or 33 meter) with a 38. 7 meter (127 foot) waterfall descent on a tributary to the Amazon on the Rio Sacre in Campos Novos, Mata Grosso, Brazil. His 2.9 seconds of pure freefall sent Pedro rocketing into the pool at right around 70 miles per hour in his Jackson Kayak Rocker. Although people have certainly perished upon hitting a pool of water from such heights, the team counted on the massive, gushing rivers of Central Brazil to produce the softest water landings on earth. This particular falls was nearly a foot ball feild in width, with approximately 5000 cfs of crystal clear 70 degree rain water spilling over the lip. This meant that although Pedro´s boat went over vertical, he and his boat were swept and kept intact into a deep mist filled pool. Infact Pedro resurfaced behind the falls were he was able to right himself with his hands on a conviently located boulder bar. The place is truely beyond description, and I guess that is why it is aptly named Salto Belo or Beautiful falls.
As with the majority of our descents in Brazil, we were led to this falls by extremely friendly and helpful locals. So friendly and helpful infact that they set a 40 meter repel for us inorder to access the base of the falls.
Our team and Pedro inparticular have been searching for a world record falls during the rainy season in Central Brazil for the last two years and it was certainly surreal to see both the Team´s and Pedro`s dream come true. I think it is now official that this Area of Mato Grosso and Goias is the true “North Shore´´ of big waterfall kayaking.
Our team of kayakers is a international subset of Team Jackson Kayak that include certainly some of the most able class V (extreme) kayakers in the world including (USA)Jesse Coombs, (Mex) Rafael Ortiz, (USA) Chris Korbulic, (USA) Ben Stookesberry, and of course the venerable Brazilian Pedro Oliva. In Pedros words his descent was a reflectoin of this teams cohesion and support from the moment everyone got off the plane.
From my point of veiw Pedro, alone has shattered all preconceived notions of what is possible in a Kayak!
The trip is still not over yet as we move back into Goais for 3 final days searching out the biggest runnable waterfalls on the planet.
Make sure to check out this record braking and mind boggling descent in this year´s late April debut of Hotel Charley volume 4: At your Own Risk.