Yesterday, kayaker Pedro Oliva set a new world record for the biggest kayak drop ever, going over the Salto Belo, which translates to “Beautiful Falls”, on the Rio Sacre River in Brazil, and plunging some 127-feet to the water below. Oliva is part of a team of paddlers who have been scouring the region looking for big drops to make just such an attempt, and catch it on film.
The falls are in a remote region, and it took the help of some Brazilians living in the area to lead the team to Salto Belo. Once there, they had to set up a 40 meter repel to drop down and scout the landing zone, where they determined that while the drop could be potentially lethal, the sheer volume of water coming over the falls would probably soften the landing, allowing the paddler to escape unscathed. It is estimated that roughly 5000 cubic feet of water per second go over the falls.
When he made the drop, Pedro’s team timed him at 2.9 seconds in the air and reaching speeds of roughly 70mph. The epic drop also breaks the old record of 108 feet set back in 2004 by Ed Lucero on Alexandra Falls in Canada. That drop was equalled on the same falls in 2007 by Tyler Bradt.
Thanks to the Outside Blog for the heads up on this one and for the photo. If you look really close, you can see the tiny spec of a kayak going over the edge.
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