First Indians to set records in Asia extreme adventure sport

Dec 22, 2017, 18:13 IST | Rupsa Chakraborty

Patel is the first Indian who opted for the 'Deepest and Fastest Scuba Cycling Undersea’' while Bhatt became the first Indian to fly in the category of the Highest & Fastest to the Edge of Space

Indians indulging in extreme sport are rare, and ever rarer are those setting records. For two childhood friends, Nishant Patel and Mit Bhatt, both in their 30s, their respective records in diving and flying were all in a day's work. Bhatt has set a national record as the 'First Indian Civilian to Fly Highest and Fastest to the Edge of Space' in a fighter jet whilst enduring maximum G-force, while Patel became the first Asian recognised by the World Record University to set a record for the 'Deepest and Fastest Scuba Cycling Undersea'.

Nishant Patel cycling under the seaNishant Patel cycling under the sea

Patel and Bhatt, residents of Vile Parle, are childhood friends and share a love for extreme adventure sport. They have participated together in various sports and have won several medals. But, unlike other sportsmen, they are constantly pushing the limits of their endurance.

Mit flew an MiG-29UB fighter jet from Russia to reach the stratosphere and touch the edge of space at an altitude of 57,000ft with a top supersonic speed of Mach 1.7 (approximately 2,080 kmph) at the maximum gravitational forces or G7. This was followed by top gun style of aerobatic manoeuvres.

Mit Bhatt in actionMit Bhatt in action

"I reached the Edge of Space within 40 minutes but the strain of the vertical take-off was extreme when the gravitational forces (G-forces) hit. For a few seconds, I couldn't breathe and was struggling. I have successfully made records in three categories – highest altitude reached, fastest speed and maximum gravitational forces endured," said a proud Bhatt.

Under the sea
While Bhatt aimed beyond the sky, Patel explored the depths of the sea on a cycle. He became the first Asian recognised by the World Records University to set a record for the 'Deepest and fastest scuba cycling undersea' in the Bay of Bengal off Puducherry at a depth of 32.7m (107 feet) in the ocean, cycling a distance of 100m in just 6 minutes 47 seconds.

Patel is known for his love for cycling and is also a certified downhill racing specialist. So, he thought of pushing the boundaries by trying scuba cycling in the sea. Though he is not a certified scuba driver, he practised for one-and-a half-years in pools before taking the plunge. "Once, I went cycling with the Indian Army from Manali to Khardung La where I came across several lakes. Suddenly, it struck me that I could cycle under water. I started practising, but it took me more than a year. I only practised in pools," said Patel.

Mit Bhatt and Nishant PatelMit Bhatt and Nishant Patel

Last month, both Patel and Bhatt were recognised and given certificates by the India Book of Records at New Delhi. "People generally opt for hiking and trekking, but there are other exotic sports like these that need tremendous focus. We never thought we would be able to achieve it until we tried it," said Patel.

"I wanted to gift myself this achievement on my 33rd birthday, hence decided to do the impossible. Any civilian at this height with no practise won't be able to take the pressure of gravitational force as it feels like someone is punching you in your stomach. In 80 per cent of the cases, untrained civilians start vomiting and can faint. At 9+ speed, the aircraft gets deformed so people can feel the speed at 7+ G-force that I experienced," Bhatt said.

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