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Kjell’s heroic camera work in open water

This video clip from footage from 2014 has got an exciting story behind it. Here is the story in brief.

After 10 years our stays in Kailua-Kona around the IRONMAN world championship had turned into a kind of routine. Race day was not exactly boring, but in somehow it was.

I really dug in my brain for a new idea to cover the competition from the side of BIESTMILCH without getting into a conflict with IRONMAN and their strict brand protection policy.
The motives around Palani Road, we had exhausted them from all angles possible. Beside the fact that hundreds of spectators and media guys shot from exactly the same perspective, Palani up and down, Palani left, right and center. We were done with that.
Our eyes were tired and our cognition numb, and the images turned into nothing else than more of the same, not exactly my piece of cake.

Cognition or perception respectively need change.

Said and done. Our new approach was to cover all turning points of the race with our cameras: the swim buoy, the bike turnaround on Kuakini Highway, the turn in Hawi, the run turnaround on Alii Drive and then in the Energy Lab, a tough program with tiny time buffers in case something went wrong. We had to be really fast, losing time was not an option.

Kjell was the only one with really good swimming skills, so he took over the part of the swim turnaround. First thought was that I accompany him with a second camera.
The days before the venture Carli Koomoa, our dear Hawaiian friend gave us a crash course in reading the Ocean. Sit down quietly and watch, take your time to comprehend the movements of the water, he said. Carli enjoined us to count the swells, to recognize their rhythm, a true challenge for us and especially for me scary. I felt overstrained.
Quickly I had to realize that this enterprise was completely unrealistic for me. Most likely I would have drowned in the rough Pacific ocean of this day.

On race day the ocean was restless, worse compared to the days before. Nevertheless Kjell entered the water at the Honl’s beach where a narrow aisle between the lava rocks allowed access to the sea. Kjell felt uneasy, I knew it. But we had this plan, and Kjell didn’t want jeopardize it. Herwig dropped us at the beach to continue to the turnaround on Kuakini Highway. Here we were, all alone with us and our fear counting the waves until the gave way to the open water.
Just for sudden, Kjell said: “I go now” and disappeared in the dusk the Gopro in his hand

It seemed to me that I had spent fearful hours waiting for him ashore. It took endless minutes for him to get back in. When a big waves had just brought him in, the undercurrents took him back out again. Yes, finally he made it. We didn’t talk, we just ran up Kuakini Highway to continue as planned.

Unfortunately due to an overstrained Herwig who formatted the disk with the footage we lost lots of the precious footage of this day. Despite recovering the files, the defragmentation of the footage makes it extremely difficult to reconstruct the content. Fritz did an amazing job to cut this video. For a good reason it is only now that it is published after 3 years.

Susann

Susann

Susann is the biest prototype and head of the team. She is Austrian, has studied medicine, meaning she is a medical doctor and the Biesters' alpha wolf. Susann continuously produces new ideas, is strong in making concepts and is practically always ON FIRE. Without her BIESTMILCH wouldn't be where and what it is today, and anyway - not possible.
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2 Comments

  1. Thank you Susann, Fritz and Team!
    It was quite an adventure out there and mainly coming back in.

    Happy to see the material was recovered.
    be water my friend

  2. my pleasure, Kjell, you deserve it. Looking forward to another crazy venture with you, cheers, s

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