Incredible Red Bull challenge: an Estonian tightrope walker will cross the Strait of Messina on a steel wire


By John

An extraordinary challenge, an unprecedented test. Jaan Roose, an Estonian slackliner, will cross the Strait of Messina walking on a ribbon just 1.9 cm wide, at a dizzying height of over 200 meters above sea level. Starting from July 2024 (the official date is linked to weather conditions), the athlete will face a breathtaking route of over 3.5 kilometres, the distance that separates the Calabrian coast from the Sicilian one.

An incredible crossing that could not only break the slackline world record, exceeding the previous record by almost a kilometer (approximately 2.7km), but which will represent an unprecedented undertaking, with a crossing distance symbolically greater than 30 football fields. Roose will start from Santa Trada (Villa San Giovanni), from a point of the 265 meter high pylon – a measurement higher than the tallest Italian skyscraper – and will try to arrive at Torre Faro (Messina) at a height of 230 metres.

The estimated time to accomplish this feat is approximately 3 hours, during which Jaan will face a difference in altitude of approximately 130 meters between the starting height and what he will find in the central part, more or less near “Scylla and Charybdis”. An almost mythological symbolism that underlines the extraordinary nature of this challenge, evoking man’s eternal struggle against the limits of the impossible.
“It’s a mixture of fear and excitement, I have the feeling of taking the challenge with myself to the limit – says Jaan – and from a mental point of view I have to concentrate on what I’m doing in that moment. I have to minimize any distractions and move forward, trying to stay as clear as possible, step by step.” Jaan Roose, three-time world champion of the specialty, is no stranger to these legendary feats.