Nobody had done it before. Australian Blake Johnston broke the world record for the longest surf session by staying in the water for 40 hours. The milestone took place this Friday on a Sydney beach where the water temperature was 24 degrees and a medical team checked the surfer’s constants at all times.
Johnston, a 40-year-old former professional, broke down in tears after having surpassed with great authority the previous record, the 30 hours and 11 minutes of the South African Josh Enslin, surfing between schools of jellyfish in the night ocean. Johnston started the challenge on Thursday at 01:00 am (15:00 GMT), under the light of the projectors, and was like that for 40 hours. In total he surfed more than 700 waves, with several breaks to eat, apply sunscreen or drops in his eyes. At each outing, authorized by regulation, doctors checked his heart rate and blood pressure before letting him continue.
Johnston was not alone. Although they spent forty hours in the water, hundreds of fans surrounded him in the sand. In fact, at the end of the feat, he received an ovation.
Getting this record has not been easy. The Australian spent a year preparing for the big day and imagining all possible scenarios, including surfing among sharks.
This is not the first time Johnston has embarked on a resistance adventure. In 2020 he already ran 100 kilometers barefoot along Sydney’s rugged south coast.
With the world record, the surfer managed to raise 330,000 Australian dollars (208,000 euros) that will be donated to prevent suicide and improve the mental health of young people.