"We must believe and go for it."
Francisco Lufinha is one of the most authentic and inspiring speakers of today, with an amazing story of entrepreneurship, courage and resolution, around the Atlantic Ocean. Upon achieving two world records of the longest kitesurf trip without stops and being the first man in the world to navigate two nights straight standing on a board, this natural born communicator decided to structure his experience and share it with the most diverse audiences. From the most competitive and executive teams to frontline salesmen and factory workers, from large to small groups, every audience enjoys a talk with this young entrepreneur. Talks are tailored to the specificity of the situation and audience, focusing on particular episodes of the different kitsesurf odysseys.
For DRIVE, the focus is on examples that drove (and still do) Francisco forward instead of backward, such as while enduring the pain under extreme conditions, believing and thinking on the gratification of achieving a challenging goal and visualizing it even when many miles away from reaching it.
For LEADERSHIP, the message is about entrepreneurship, innovation and self motivation, which drive Francisco to believe and move forward with his extreme projects, pioneering challenges worldwide, against all negative opinions and odds of success.
For TEAM WORK, Francisco unveils the hard the work of the people behind each project and how crucial it is the effort to integrate the team and stay away from the – sometimes appealing – individualism. The team delivers encouragement and companionship to overcome obstacles and has an unparallel power to motivate. After all, only a motivated team will embark and endure a kitesurf odyssey “lost” in the middle of the ocean for several days.
Francisco Lufinha is a 35 years old Portuguese adventurous, completely in love with the sea and nautical sports. At only 15 days of age, Francisco spent his first days aboard out in the sea and since then has not been able – nor wished – to disconnect from the sea.
Born in Lisbon, Francisco started competing in Sailing at age eleven, conquering national and international competitions and representing Portugal abroad along seven years. Besides Sailing, Francisco also practiced Water Ski, Wakeboard and Windsurf – but it has been Kitesurf that fascinated him the most, being a mix of his favorite sports. In 2005 he became national champion and in 2006 vice-champion, achieving also in that year the 5th place in a world circuit competition.
In parallel to his sports activities, Francisco completed a Masters in Industrial Engineering and Management in 2007, which led him to work in varied projects and settings, evolving gradually closer to his passion of the sea and nautical sports, starting his professional career in large companies as a marketing analyst, following co-managing Francisco Lobato's solo sailor project to cross the Atlantic, co-founding and CTOing a medical appointments booking start-up, leading the Dakhla Attitude kitesurf resort in Morocco and organizing nautical fairs, among others. His life is full of varied experiences and Francisco lives pushing himself constantly, through new and sometimes risky adventures, that drive him continuously.
In 2013, upon returning from Africa, Francisco dared to materialize his dream of kitesurfing the Portuguese coastline. His experience in strategic marketing and project management, combined with his strong resolution and resilience, allowed him to take the challenge to safe harbor and accomplish his first world record of the longest kitesurf journey without stops, a journey of 564 km for 29 hours non-stop. It was just the beginning of a much larger project – the Kitesurf Odyssey.
Nowadays, Francisco runs his own company Lufinha, focusing on his passions: planning new odysseys, motivating audiences, chartering sailing yachts around the world, organizing water sports events/competitions and helping preserving the Ocean in several ways.
Upon the 2013 achievement along the Portuguese coastline, a major Kitesurf odyssey project around the Portuguese sea was born. Its goal was to connect the entire Portuguese territory kitesurfing and promote this huge Sea worldwide, composing a series of bold, long distance, challenges between the Portuguese islands and the continent, overcoming the adversity of the Atlantic harsh winds and seas.
The Kitesurf Odyssey project was completed in 2017, including three additional challenges on top of the 2013 along the continental coastline: in 2014 from Selvagens to Funchal (308km), in 2015 from Lisboa to Madeira (862km) and in 2017 from Açores to Lisboa (1646km)
Check out each of the Kitesurf Odyssey challenges in the links below.