Kayaker Pedro Olivia set a new world record for the highest waterfall descent by paddling over the edge of the 127-foot Salto Belo falls in his native Brazil. The 26-year-old’s plunge lasted almost three seconds before he hit the water headfirst at 70 miles per hour. From the Daily Mail:
‘With the massive amount of water mixing with 127 feet of air, the landing was much more like 15 feet of churning dry powder snow than the hard surface of a lake.
‘This took Pedro and his boat deep into soft but violent water. His paddle snapped and flushed away as he was churned in the base of the falls. As he felt the violent churn of the falls ebb, he brushed against some rocks that he grabbed to right his kayak.
‘Pedro caught his bearings and realised he had entered a scenario that could have been a kayaker’s nightmare: resurfacing behind the falls. Rolling up in these extremely inhospitable surroundings behind the falls, Pedro emerged from the cavern behind the falls like a man returning from another world, and without a single scratch to show for his record breaking descent.’
In a related story, I totally jumped off the high dive all by myself. The gathered crowd cheered when I finally emerged from the water several minutes later. In the lifeguard’s arms.