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By Ben Stookesberry

Yesterday the 4th of March, 2009, Brazilian kayaker and fellow Brazil World Record Attemt Expedition member Pedro Olivia shattered the existing world record (108 foot or 33 meter) with a 38. 7 meter (127 foot) waterfall descent on a tributary to the Amazon on the Rio Sacre in Campos Novos, Mata Grosso, Brazil. His 2.9 seconds of pure freefall sent Pedro rocketing into the pool at right around 70 miles per hour in his Jackson Kayak Rocker. Although people have certainly perished upon hitting a pool of water from such heights, the team counted on the massive, gushing rivers of Central Brazil to produce the softest water landings on earth. This particular falls was nearly a foot ball feild in width, with approximately 5000 cfs of crystal clear 70 degree rain water spilling over the lip. This meant that although Pedro´s boat went over vertical, he and his boat were swept and kept intact into a deep mist filled pool. Infact Pedro
resurfaced behind the falls were he was able to right himself with his hands on a conviently located boulder bar. The place is truely beyond description, and I guess that is why it is aptly named Salto Belo or Beautiful falls.

As with the majority of our descents in Brazil, we were led to this falls by extremely friendly and helpful locals. So friendly and helpful infact that they set a 40 meter repel for us inorder to access the base of the falls.

Our team and Pedro inparticular have been searching for a world record falls during the rainy season in Central Brazil for the last two years and it was certainly surreal to see both the Team´s and Pedro`s dream come true. I think it is now official that this Area of Mato Grosso and Goias is the true “North Shore´´ of big waterfall kayaking.

Our team of kayakers is a international subset of Team Jackson Kayak that include certainly some of the most able class V (extreme) kayakers in the world including (USA)Jesse Coombs, (Mex) Rafael Ortiz, (USA) Chris Korbulic, (USA) Ben Stookesberry, and of course the venerable Brazilian Pedro Oliva. In Pedros words his descent was a reflectoin of this teams cohesion and support from the moment everyone got off the plane.

From my point of veiw Pedro, alone has shattered all preconceived notions of what is possible in a Kayak!

The trip is still not over yet as we move back into Goais for 3 final days searching out the biggest runnable waterfalls on the planet.

Make sure to check out this record braking and mind boggling descent in this year´s late April debut of Hotel Charley volume 4: At your Own Risk.

Ben Stookesberry

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