DAREDEVIL Nik Wallenda, who became the first man to cross the Niagara Falls on a tightrope earlier this summer, is yet again back on the rope, this time over 100ft above a beach.
Unharnessed and without a safety-net the 33-year-old walked 1,300ft between two casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey yesterday high above holiday revellers on the shore.
But, like anyone taking a walk on the beach, Nik Wallenda found sand in places he did not want it.
Mr Wallenda found his routine at risk after sand made his rope ‘slippery’ and considered doing the walk barefoot.
But ultimately, Wallenda decided to keep on the buckskin and suede shoes his mother made him, and he completed the walk without any real difficulties. After his feat in June at the Niagara Falls, any walk must seem like a doddle.
This time, though, he was unharnessed as seagulls flew by, a couple of banner-pulling planes zipped around, boats came to shore so their occupants could watch and all eyes on the beach - save those of a few diligent lifeguards - were looking at Wallenda high above.
Local officials estimated that 150,000 people saw him make the half-hour stroll, step by careful step, in person. There were expected to be a boon for Atlantic City and the Tropicana Casino & Resort, which put on the event.
Wallenda is a member of the seventh generation of a legendary ‘daredevil family’ of performers who has been putting on shows for two centuries and are now preparing their Wallenda Family Experience show in one of the casinos.
Noreen Saggese, a teacher from New Jersey said: ‘There’s no net and there’s no harness. It’s thrilling.’ After the walk, Mr Wallenda said he had not found any part of his surroundings distracting.                                 –DM