Panamanian surfer rides wave for 41 miles!

The Panama Canal is truly a modern wonder of engineering and construction. Stretching 48 miles in length, it offers a narrow corridor of water between North and South America through which ships can pass to and from the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. This past weekend, champion surfer Gary Saavedra grabbed his board and hit those waters, hoping to set several new records in the process.

On Saturday, Saavedra made history by becoming the first person to ever surf in the Canal, but that was just the prelude to what he really had in mind. The 13-time national champion of Panama hopped on his board and began riding a wave generated by a lead boat, and then proceeded to surf for 3 hours, 55 minutes, and 2 seconds straight, covering 41.3 miles in the process. Both of those marks are new records for time and distance in open water.

The ride was no simple walk in the park however, as Saavedra had to deal with windy conditions, plenty of choppy water, and the wake generated by a number of passing cargo freighters sailing between the oceans. The long ride took its toll physically as well, as he rode the final hour with a cramp in his leg which is ultimately what brought an end to his day on the water.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday huh? What did you do this past weekend?

[Photo Credit: Associated Press]