Mayank Vaid, Shu Pu Discuss HK360Xtreme Challenge On WOWSA Live

Mayank Vaid, Shu Pu Discuss HK360Xtreme Challenge On WOWSA Live

Mayank Vaid, Shu Pu Discuss HK360Xtreme Challenge On WOWSA Live

Sponsored by KAATSU Global, Huntington Beach, California.

Mayank Vaid, a Hong Kong-based intellectual property lawyer, and event director and Hong Kong extreme sports visionary Shu Pu talked about Vaid’s unprecedented HK360Xtreme Challenge, the first triple-stage circumnavigation triathlon around Hong Kong Island, on today’s WOWSA Live.

The HK360Xtreme Challenge is a three-stage triathlon that starts off with a 45 km swimming circumnavigation of Hong Kong Island, then follows up with a 215 km cycling circumnavigation of Hong Kong Island and New Territories, and then finishes up with 100 km running for a total distance of 360 km. Athletes can decided how they want to arrange their rest stops, sleeps and transitions.

On November 6th at 1:15 am, Vaid set off on his 45 km swim leg. 70 hours 19 minutes 53 seconds later near midnight of November 7th, he completed the inaugural HK360Xtreme Challenge.

The 45 km swim circumnavigation of Hong Kong Island started and ended at Sai Wan Swimming Shed in Kennedy Town. It took significantly longer than he expected. He took a 1 hour 8 minute 39 second transition rest and then hopped on his bicycle to begin the 215 km circumnavigation of Hong Kong and the New Territories. After his 9 hour 17 minute 18 second bike leg was over, he took a 15 hour 3 minute 51 second transition rest before starting on his second bike leg that took 6 hours 55 minutes 25 seconds. After a 24 minute 12 second transition, he then started running 100 km. It took him 19 hours 22 minutes 6 seconds to run from Sai Kung to Tsim Sha Tsui for his third and final circumnavigation of Hong Kong Island.

HK360Xtreme Challenge Results
Swim Start at 1:15 am
Swim Leg: 18 hours 8 minutes 22 seconds
Swim – Bike Transition: 1 hour 8 minutes 39 seconds
1st Bike Leg: 9 hours 17 minutes 18 seconds
Bike 1 – Bike 2 Transition: 15 hours 3 minutes 51 seconds
2nd Bike Leg: 6 hours 55 minutes 25 seconds
Bike – Run Transition: 24 minutes 12 seconds
Run Leg: 19 hours 22 minutes 6 seconds
Total Time: 70 hour 19 minutes 53 seconds

Vaid became the fourth swimmer to complete the HK360Swim in 18 hours 8 minutes 22 seconds. Shu Pu explained the circumnavigation that she first conceived in 2016, “The vision for HK360Swim is to be recognizable worldwide as the signature swim challenge for Hong Kong, similar to the English Channel crossing between England and France and the 20 Bridges Swim in New York City.”

Vaid completed the cycling leg in 31 hours 16 minutes 34 seconds and his run in 19 hours 22 minutes 6 seconds, finishing in front of sponsor Mercedes Benz Hong Kong’s showroom in Siu Sai Wan just before midnight on November 7th at 11:45:34 pm.

Vaid has done triathlons including Ultraman and Run the Rann, and set the world record for the Enduroman Arch to Arc Triathlon, the longest point-to-point triathlon.

Pu explains, “Mayank had to push through quite a few challenges to get to the start line of HK360Xtreme. In 2019, he had planned to complete the HK360Swim in a tandem solo, but due to his swim partner’s shoulder injury, they were forced to postpone the attempt. He returned in 2020 with a bigger challenge for himself. With three date changes due to typhoons, it became harder for Mayank and his crew to execute the event. During this attempt, he suffered through hypothermia, stitches on his ankle, severe sunburn, fatigue, a stomach bug, and strong oncoming currents during the swim in order to complete the feat. There were many moments of suffering where he considered giving up, but, thinking the lesson that he wanted to share his two sons, is that the most important thing is to finish what you’ve set out to do.

Mayank had to stop halfway of the bike leg, because of a stomach bug, fever and having to get the stitches on his ankle checked out for fears of it being infected after the swim. And that rest turned out to be 15 hours 3 minutes where he did sleep, which made his total bike time over 31 hours.

Mayank completed HK360Xtreme with the goal of raising HKD 360,000 to support InspiringHK Sports Foundation and Outward Bound Hong Kong. HKD 320,078 has been raised up to date (November 10th) in order to provide underprivileged youth the opportunity to experience the joy of outdoor sports while also assisting local sports coaches and students affected by COVID-19 due to closure of sports grounds and classes.

He said, “I am absolutely humbled by the enormity of HK360Xtreme. Training for an event like this is very demanding and taxing. However, I learnt a lot about myself as I trained for HK360Xtreme. I am really thankful to my wife, Theresa Vaid, and my boys, Bono and Kavi, who supported me fully as I trained for the event. I am also thankful to my friends and swim, bike and run buddies who spent a lot of their time to help me prepare both physically and mentally for the event. I had the support of Mercedes-Benz, Rekitt Benckiser Move Free, Redbull, NRG Performance Training, Szabotage and RMRH who trusted me with the project for which I am grateful as well as honored.

The swim around Hong Kong Island is fun, but tough. Its visually simple, but technically unpredictable. In addition to three changes in dates due to typhoons in South China Sea, I experienced unexpected counter currents. A swim that was predicted to take 12 hours lasted 18 hours. I had excellent crew support and paddler. We didn’t quit. Despite the challenges, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole event. It was very well organized. The Marine Department and Marine Police were helpful and patient with us, whether it was with regards to the change in dates or on the swim day.

I really enjoyed the rock solid support of my friends and crew. They stood by me and they didn’t let me fail. Changes in event dates meant everyone had to reorganize their calendars which seemed not a problem at any for them. During the event, we were way off schedule because of the super long swim and the fatigue it caused. Yet everyone adjusted to the schedule that was constantly evolving. I want to acknowledge and thank Cae, Gus and Bizo to constantly encourage me to keep swimming. I want to acknowledge and thank Paolo, Ross, Jan and Peter for being there for me on the bike legs and ride all night with me. I want to acknowledge and thank, Richard Hall, Richard Roper, Daniel, Mo, Cae, Mandy, Natalie and Hayley for running with me and giving me their energy to keep going. I want to acknowledge and thank Eric, Ho and Bizo from Outward Bound who wholeheartedly supported me during the swim.

HK360Xtreme would not have been possible without Shu Pu. An event like this needs a race director like Shu who was with me as an observer, friend, supporter and guide all through the 70 hours. Shu trusted me with such a big undertaking and believed in me for which I am grateful. Seven years ago, I couldn’t swim 50 meters without having to stop a few times. Those 50 meters seemed so far away. And now I have swum around Hong Kong Island.

One can only dream of participating in an event of this scale

HK360Xtreme and HK360Swim are challenge events by Shu Pu, the founder of AVRA, an ocean lifestyle and adventure brand based in Hong Kong. “It’s a huge honor to be approached by Mayank to make this ultimate challenge happen. We’ve set a Hong Kong and world record with this attempt, while raising funds and awareness for a worthy cause. Sports communities have suffered greatly during this COVID-19 and we hope that this challenge can help support the Hong Kong sports community.

It’s exciting to have brought to life one of the toughest endurance challenge on the planet. We want to send the message out and share with the world that this ultra-challenge lives in Hong Kong and athletes can attempt it

Partners and donors of this cause include Mercedes Benz, Move Free, NRG Performance Training and Red Bull. In support of Vaid in his newest unique charity sporting event, Gustav Szabo, otherwise known as Szabotage, a well-known urban artist and designer, is auctioning an original artwork “Freestyle” to help raise funds for this cause.

For more information, visit the HK360 website. The online fundraising page is here. The HK360 Instagram is here and HK360 Facebook page is here.

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Steven Munatones