|Kai just after his Lake Michigan crossing last week.|
"CHICAGO, May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- In a test of mental fitness and physical stamina against the whims of open water, 19-year-old Red Bull Athlete Kai Lenny made Lake Michigan his next conquest by crossing the lake by wind surfing, starting at Sturgeon Bay, WI and landing in Frankfort, MI, this past Friday, May 18, 2012. Lake Michigan has seen its array of boats, jet skis, swimmers and sailors through the years, but this was the first time anyone has windsurfed from the west to east coast of Lake Michigan, in a seemingly impossible water craft challenge."
Now, I'm a huge fan of Kai's so I'll state right from the start that this post is not about dis-ing the Hawaiian Waterman, but I've got to protest this mis-information... Kai is NOT the first guy to windsurf across Lake Michigan. Many Chicago windsurfers have done it (including my buddy Dieter, who is over 70 years old!), and probably a bunch of windsurfers from the Lake's Wisconsin and Michigan shores as well.
Of course, just because people have done it before doesn't mean it's not cool. I wasn't the first guy to SUP 50+ miles on Lake Michigan in one day either, but it still felt really good to accomplish that goal. Kai crossing our Lake is awesome, but it also begs the question, 'Why here?' As a professional water athlete, Kai gets to travel to the most exotic locales in the world, windsurfing, SUPing, surfing & kiting in the best conditions on the planet. Still, he considered crossing Lake Michigan a challenge and having done it, a great accomplishment. Or, as the reporters called it, "a test of mental fitness and physical stamina against the whims of open water."
So good for you Kai. You are THE MAN... but so are a lot of non-redbull-sponsored Lake Michigan sailors who've been braving everything She has to throw at them for decades. For my part, I just want to give credit where credit is due... get ready, now... here it comes: If you windsurf Lake Michigan, you are a real bad ass. Congratulations. See you on the water.