Oldest person to kitesurf across the English Channel: Richard Branson sets world record LONDON, UK -- British tycoon Richard Branson, 61, has become the oldest person to kite-surf across the English Channel; he
crossed from Dymchurch, Kent, to Wimereux in northern France in three hours, 45 minutes,
according to the World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/. Photo: British tycoon Richard Branson, 61, celebrates on July 1, 2012 in Wimereux, northern France, after he succeeded in crossing the English Channel. Photo: AFP (enlarge photo)
The Guinness world record for the longest kite surfing journey is 199.63 nautical miles (369.71 km; 229.73 statute miles) and was achieved by Phillip McCoy Midler (USA) who travelled from South Padre Island, Texas to Matagorda, Texas, USA.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the longest distance kitesurfing in 24 hours: 504.8 km (313.67 miles), achieved by Rimas Kinka (Lithuania), off the coast of Islamorada, Florida, USA.
"It's great to be standing on French soil and not be surrounded by French police," said the 61-year-old.
His son Sam made the 30-mile journey from Wimereux to Folkestone in two hours and 18 minutes, shaving 12 minutes off the previous record, which was set in 1999.
He was followed on to shore by eight friends and relatives who entered the record books as the fastest group of kite-surfers to make the Channel crossing, for which there was no previous world record.
"It's wonderful for the family to have set three world records in two days. I have even more respect for Sam's world record having taken so long myself to get across.
"The trip was far more challenging than I thought, with 40 mph winds in the middle of the Channel and major waves.
"I have to admit there were moments when I was tempted to abandon it. The wind direction was the opposite of what had been forecast.
"I expected to scream across but was greeted with a long, downstream kite that took considerably longer."