Branson forced to abandon English Channel kitesurf

24th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

British tycoon adventurer Richard Branson was forced to abandon an attempt to kitesurf across the English Channel on Tuesday due to rough seas, a spokesman said.

The entrepreneur, who was attempting the stunt to mark turning 60 last month, had travelled five miles (eight kilometres) out to sea from Dungeness in southeast England when high waves forced him to stop.

The spokesman said high waves made conditions unsafe for support boats to continue the crossing to the northern French port of Boulogne.

Branson's team will assess the weather conditions before deciding whether to make another attempt.

"We launched this morning and we got five miles out, but the sea state was higher than anticipated, meaning the waves were higher than expected," a spokesman said.

"That meant the support and safety team in the dinghies could not go out any further. Richard was determined to go on, but the support team made the call to stop.

"We are looking to go tomorrow (Wednesday) now."

Branson's children, Holly and Sam, and his nephews joined him on the aborted kite-surfing mission.

He hopes to become the oldest person to cross the Channel on a kitesurf and to make the fastest crossing by a kitesurf team.

© 2010 AFP

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