Bering Strait kiteboard crossing waiting for wind

Posted: Aug 23, 2010 07:21 pm EDT

Troy Henkels and Geza Scholtz are in Wales, Alaska busy with training and waiting for favorable winds to travel by kiteboard across the Bering Strait to Russia. During their travel they will cross the International Dateline.

They plan to cover 100 km in 6-8 hours. Water temperatures are expected to be as low as 2-3 degrees Celsius. The guys will have a support boat traveling with them.


Today Troy and Geza were training in strong wind, strong water and cold temperatures. Geza says on their website that usually when he is kiting the sun is shining and the sea is warm and calm, but Troy is used to conditions like that.

Weather forecast

According to who is doing the weather routing for the team, Tuesday August 24 looks like a possible good day for kiting. Marc de Keyser says in his opinion tomorrow looks the best day of the week.

The plan that Marc suggests is as follows: They start between 15-18 UTC at Wales; the wind there at that time will be around 14-15kt average. So they will be at Diomedes between 18 and 21 UTC, he says. By then the wind at that location should have become around 15kt as well. They arrive in Russia between 24 and 03 UTC; by than the wind has increased to 15kt average as well.

Marc added that Wednesday again looks possible if the rain is not too heavy/visibility, but then they need to start as early as possible as the wind tends to decrease after 18/21 UTC.

The goal of the expedition is to cross the Bering Strait from Alaska to Russia on a kiteboard. According to their website the Bering Strait has never been crossed by kiteboard, it would also be the first crossing from America to Asia by kiteboard and the first crossing of the International Date Line by kiteboard.

Biographies courtesy of the expedition website:

Geza Scholtz

Geza was born in Zurich to Chinese and Hungarian parents. After secondary school, he went on to study dentistry. At the same time, the physical outlet of his sporting activities was already very important to him. Geza began kite-boarding about nine years ago as the sport was just getting started, a time when equipment was a far cry from todays technical standards or mass-market readiness. His favorite sports include downhill biking, snowboarding, wakeboarding and surfing. Gezas second passion is travel.

At just 28, he has already visited 30 countries, including India, Morocco, Namibia, Kenya, Venezuela, Sri Lanka and Australia, usually accompanied by his kite- board. Even today, Geza still regularly takes a break from his professional career as a dentist to discover the world. He is also an active volunteer in several social projects. Last year, he spent two months at the NPH Childrens Village Escuela Hogar in the Dominican Republic, treating children and adults from the region.

Troy Henkels

Troy began exploring at a young age in the woodlands of rural Iowa, where he grew up. After graduating from University and pursuing a professional management career, he left the corporate world to experience a more vivid lifestyle in Alaska.

His love of adventure has taken him on expeditions to the most remote corners of the world, including the North Pole, South Pole, Denali, Mount Everest, the Kalahari Desert, the Darien Jungle, Greenland, and Iceland. In the winter of 2005 he attempted to walk across the Bering Strait from Alaska to Russia. In 2008 he was the first person to kiteboard in the Antarctic and kiteboard Alaska's infamous bore wave on Turnagain Arm. Troy makes his home in Eagle River, Alaska.


Troy Henkels and Geza Scholtz plan to kite 100 km in 6-8 hours across the Bering Strait (click to enlarge)
Wales, Alaska (click to enlarge)
Last week: And here it is our new boat! This time its a fiberglass-boat which offers enough space as you can see. The boat owner is called Ron, a local living on the Diomede Islands who has a lot of experience in the Bering Sea. (click to enlarge)
Geza Scholtz (click to enlarge)
Troy Henkels (click to enlarge)
Route map (click to enlarge)