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Adventures in jet skis and 4 by 4 to the end of the world See map

Ushuaia is a name that has a certain magnetism around the world. Because it constitutes the south of the Global South, is a destination that many dream about. Other, more adventurous, prefer to challenge its extreme terrains. So they have organized themselves and got there different adventures. In these notes we relate some of them: the difficult crossing of the Cape Hornos on jet skis, the 4x4 cruise "Isuzu Challenge 2000" and a sidecar tour from Canada. 

A nautical adventure for French TV (By Emilio Urruty) 

In a show that went too fast for the locals, Cape Hornos was crossed for the first time on jet skis.

In autumn 2000, a French group staged a sailing trip from Ushuaia to Cape Hornos. Sailing in two semi-rigid boats rented in the capital of Tierra del Fuego and three seater jet ski Sea-Doo latest generation they were able to turn the dreaded cape out in a couple of minutes while a helicopter TV crews from France recorded the episode. Below, waves of nearly seven feet swaying to the three jet during its passage. Three times world ski champion Luc Alphand, the famous French TV animator Lagaffe Vincent and Alexandre De Banne, host of a television program of travel and adventure, led the procession. 

Building on the promise of a highly favorable weather, a French group accepted the challenge of trying to turn the Cape Hornos manning only modern jet. If they succeeded, it would be the first time in history that would be on such vessels. And they succeeded.

Without detracting from, it is clear that perhaps it had not been done before not for lack of brave sailors (here they are, for example, those who have made the feat on kayaks), but rather because it simply did not exist once these hybrid designs, or if had, they were not able to ride that kind of water.

The bare rocks out, however, remained undeterred by the march of French power boating trio as they have done for centuries, by watching (and even go to the bottom) large and small boats of all nationalities. The episode, however, deserves to be registered as a remarkable fact in the history of regional sailing.

Southbound, three Sea-Doo Bombardier and two local rubber boats 

For this adventure, three motorcycles Sea-Doo GTX RFI Bombardier model were used. They have double space and 950 cubic centimeters, injection, implying a significantly lower consumption to any other ship of this class. The detail was key to the issue, given the obvious difficulty of replenishments in transit.

Motorcycles, properly elected, would also face possible adverse sea conditions moderately, thanks to the autonomy and power available.

As support vessels, the French decided to take from Ushuaia two semi-rigid boats, which were rented to their respective owners here: one to Jorge Greco and other to Iván Sarachu. The rubber boats were the "Ignacio", of 8.50 meters with a 140-horsepower engine and the "Pato I", of 6.40 meters, with 90 HP engine.

The ambitious proposal, which initially was supposed to last more time, was completed in just four days. Spring sail from Asociación Fueguina de Actividades Subacuáticas and Náuticas (AFASyN), and from the start to cross the Chilean sector they enjoyed the support of GC-67 Guard "Río Uruguay", Argentina Naval Prefecture. Before the end of the day, the five boats had made it to Port Williams on Navarino Island, Chile.

Riding the waves of seven meters

The nearly twenty people who made up the group reached Cape Horn with weather conditions that were acceptable to the bikes, but not for boats. The meeting of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans was fighting that day with waves up to seven meters.

Despite the rolling liquid moles, the maneuverability of the Sea-Doo allowed to meet scheduled sailing off the cape, which lasted a few minutes and was done in west-east, while the two semi-rigid waited quietly on the shore, but attentive to the bold round ended successfully.

Two ships of the Chilean Navy, patrol "Hallef" and the general service ship "Aspirante Isaza", who had been outstanding from Port Williams to the mission of escorting the nautical adventure, remained close to the bikes at all times, even trying not to interfere with the video recording camera that a couple of French team performed from a helicopter.

TV stars of France, in the "bout du monde" 

Is that on board of three powerful Sea-Doo (which were named "Cap Horn" I, II and III) were public figures, long known in France, both in the world of television entertainment, such as among athletes.

It was Luc Alphand (35 years), triple world champion ski, Vincent Lagaffe (41), cheerleader of the French TV, and Alexandre De Banne (38), host of a program of travel and adventure, also in TV in that country. Recall that for Europe in general and France in particular, the entire area of ​​influence of Cape Hornos retains a unique magnetic field of risk activities in nature. In fact, the name "Ushuaia" as a synthesis of extreme adventure was used to describe the greatest international audition of television in France, designed by adventurer Nicolas Hulot.

The intrepid athletes returned to Ushuaia, entering in triumph at the same point from where they had departed. Something tight on the objective pursued, the French did not fraternize too much with local sailors and were worried about giving too much publicity to their feat(*). In the silence, the group swiftly went back to Europe, where they were expected with applauses and theTV lights, certainly more agreeable than the autumn frigid waters of Cape Hornos.

(*) The sources that made this note possible were: Rolando Martinez, a correspondent for "El Mercurio" in Punta Arenas, Gonzalo Yanzi, president of AFASyN; Ivan Sarachu, semi-rigid boat owner "Pato I" and people always ready of Ushuaia Prefecture.

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