After conquering the English Channel, the Gulf of Aqaba (at the northern tip of the Red Sea) and the famous Cape Horn, renowned French kitesurfer and triple World Cup winner Bruno Sroka is preparing for his newest challenge – the first ever crossing from France to Ireland by kitesurf. Beginning at the harbour of Aber Wrac’h in Brittany on Friday 19 July, the talented kitesurfer hopes to reach Crosshaven within 17 hours – a mere 240 nautical miles (444 km) crossing, at an average speed of 15 knots!
Tourism Ireland in France is the main sponsor of Sroka’s crossing. To capitalise on the huge media exposure the crossing will generate in France, the organisation’s Ireland logo will be prominently displayed on all his equipment – including the sail, board and wetsuit – as well as on all of the social media and publicity surrounding the high profile crossing. An estimated ten million people will see that logo, with major TV channels in France lined up to interview Bruno and report on his challenge, including the most popular channels, TF1 and M6.
Tourism Ireland will also highlight the adventure on its website, Ireland.com, and through its social media and video channels, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Monica MacLaverty, Tourism Ireland’s manager for southern Europe, said: “We are delighted to be associated with Bruno Sroka’s latest challenge. The island of Ireland is known by the French largely for its stunning landscapes and friendly, welcoming people. However, with 5,600 kms of coastline, the island is also a superb destination for watersports such as surfing and kitesurfing. Our sponsorship of Bruno allows us to highlight this lesser-known aspect of holidaying in Ireland and to position Ireland as a fantastic destination for outdoor sports.
“Tourism Ireland is targeting a number of new consumer groups in France, which we believe have strong potential for growth, including a younger and more active audience – hence our partnership with Bruno. French holidaymakers are younger than average and it is now easier than ever to get to the island of Ireland from all parts of France. France is one of Ireland’s top four markets for overseas tourism and the outlook for 2013 is positive, with the most recent CSO figures (up to end April) showing growth of 20% in French visitors. Our strategy is to create a sense of urgency, inspiring French holidaymakers to choose the island of Ireland and ‘visit now’.”
Notes To Editors
Background on Bruno Sroka
Triple French, European and world champion, kitesurfer Bruno Sroka is always looking for new challenges! In 2008, he was the first man to kitesurf across the Cape Horn – 100 nautical miles in nine hours of extreme conditions! In January 2009, he crossed the Gulf of Aqaba (at the northern tip of the Red Sea) with a peace message and a blue dove on his sail. In 2011, he supported French hostages in Afghanistan by crossing the tip of Brittany with the pictures of the hostages on his sail. And, in May 2012, he broke the record for the English Channel crossing – 100 miles in five hours. He also works with the Green Cross and Peace and Sport organisations.