An attempt by world water speed record motorcyclist Luca Colombo to ride his Honda CRF450R across the Strait of Messina from Sicily to Italy was sunk by the wake from two cargo ships only 500 metres from the shore!
Lots of ships saw the local Port Authority halt the attempt several times. When he was finally given the go-ahead, the bike hit a series of waves which caused the back wheel to come out of the water and therefore lose propulsion. The bike went down, but wasn’t lost as it it fitted with self-inflating baloons.
Luca said: “Today seemed ideal, we had everything prepared but I was stopped several times due to ship traffic. When I finally got the green light I knew about the current in the central part of the Strait but I was unaware of the presence of waves caused by two cargo ships that had passed twenty minutes earlier.
“The entry into the water was easy, I put the third gear and then the fourth gear and everything was fine until I met this series of waves that was not possible to see from the shore. I passed the first but one slowed down the bike until it stopped. In five years this had never happened to me, I consider it an experience to treasure but I have no intention of giving up and I certainly want to try the company again.
“I have been in Sicily for two weeks, I knew that the Strait would be a tough nut to crack and I was able to see for myself the variables that have made this stretch of sea famous. Sometimes in life we win, other times we learn and we must not forget that every mistake brings us closer to our goal. I’m not downhearted, I feel full of a great desire to try again, this adventure doesn’t end here!”