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Wind smashes novice kite-surfer into parked car

A Nelson kite-surfer was knocked unconscious when he was dragged up an Atawhai shore and smashed into a parked car.Michael Baker, 47, a visual arts lecturer at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, has been surfing for 30 years and windsurfing for 20 years, but started kite-surfing only three weeks ago.

He was kite-surfing on Thursday at Nelson Haven near the Dodson Valley shop at Atawhai when he was caught in a gusty southwesterly.

"A gust came and picked me up straight away. It lifted me up and deposited me on the edge of the carpark.

"I remember the exhilaration of being lifted and then I remember waking up in the ambulance," Mr Baker said. He was wearing a helmet, padded harness and full wetsuit.

The incident happened so quickly he did not have time to let go of the kite.

"I have emergency safety releases but it all happened so fast that I didn't have time. Also, I didn't want to let go because I didn't want it to land on the road."

more ... NZ Herald 13.12.2002

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