Virgin Atlantic boss, Sir Richard Branson, has been forced to abandon his attempt to set two world records by kite-boarding across the English Channel due to strong winds and choppy seas.
The billionaire had been hoping to celebrate his 60th birthday by becoming the oldest person to cross the Channel by kite-board but was forced to return home after just over an hour.
He was also hoping to set a second world record by making the fastest channel crossing by a kite-board team. He was joined by his children plus a number of others, including Princess Beatrice’s boyfriend Dave Clarke.
They set off from Dungeness in Kent, but winds measuring up to six on the Beaufort scale prevented the safety boats from accompanying them on the crossing, so Sir Richard decided they should turn back.
The team was also hoping that one of them would beat the current record for the fastest solo crossing of the Channel by kite-board, which stands at two and a half hours.
Sir Richard told the Press Association: “It was fantastic conditions for kiting but hellish conditions for the chase boats. The boats couldn’t have done it and it’s too dangerous for the kites to continue without them. We knew when we set off there was a risk of that.”
“There wasn’t enough wind when I was trying to get my kite up,” he said. “But it was full-on kiting (after that), that’s for sure. We had a big argument with the boats as we did want to carry on, but in the end sense prevailed.”