Jun 14, 2016

Jumping from 909 meters cliff with a kite

Simply put, watch it! 

Gokova Murphy Cliff Project
Location: Gokova, Turkey Date: Sept. 14, 2014 
Idea: Marek “Murphy” Zach 
Wind: 8-10 kns, thermal & onshore. 
Kite: inflated kite, Ozone C4, 14m 

Preparation: 
- huge experience 
- hundreds of sililar jumps on snowkite 
- consulting with local paragliders 
- careful site inspection (mountain, city, beach) 
- weather and winds forecast monitoring 
- sleep, proper nutrition, relaxation and punk style meditation

We tend to travel a lot together, Murphy and I, and we both like to check out new places and kite new spots. Gokova’s been on our “to do” list for a long time now and when we got the chance to visit it with Jovi Travel we were really anxious to check out the spot and conditions there, especially since we’ve heard a lot about it before from our friends. 

The spot itself is kinda like the famed Gorge but without all the civilization surrounding it. A large bay surrounded by high hills on both sides. There is a nearby river which connects to the spot and little town nearby but that’s about it. The surrounding hills provide a nice venturi effect with light, steady winds which, combined with the thermal winds, which start to kick in around noon, tend to get stronger during the day.

Naturally, as soon as Murphy got down to the spot he started looking at the hills. Being the seasoned snowkiter that he is, sights like that only make his mind drift towards new “cliff projects”. In his case it’s usually a spur of the moment thing, but this time we accidently bumped into some local paragliders who gave us the ins and outs of the spot. So after checking out the possible places for take off and landing we decided to double check the gear, grab something to eat, get a good night’s sleep and prepare for the following day. 

On the day of the jump we decided to wait a bit till the wind got a bit stronger; I kitted Murphy out with my GoPro; he took his kitetracker, rigged up the 14m Ozone C4 and we headed towards the highest of the local cliffs. It was a bit tricky to set up at first on the, rocky, bushy, steep hillside but with some help from the curious locals we soon got everything ready. Without unnecessary goodbye talks Murph jumped of the cliff and was soon gliding steadily towards the spot’s beach. The whole “flight” took him a little under 9 minutes and, as we learned from the kitetracker, it was a descent of 909 meters. His jump caused quite a commotion at the local kite station and on his landing a small crew of our friends and locals welcomed him. 

All in all everything went very smooth thanks to the steady winds and Murphy’s know how. It was the first time I was a part of his famed “cliff projects” but for me it was definitely one for the books… And as we’re getting to books, we’ll see what Mr Guiness has to say about this SLE kite jump.

Text by Jacek Gadzinowski & Mateusz Wo┼║niakiewicz