World record breakers Another world record bites the dust! Today the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada set a new Guinness World Record for the largest number of kitesurfers ever to complete a one-mile course.
318 of us took to the water from Hayling Island in the first event of its kind for this fantastic sport. As the photos show, it was a real spectacle.
Having broken the world record for the oldest person to kite surf across the Channel last year, and been no stranger to world record attempts over the years, it was wonderful to break another record as part of such a brilliant team.
We arrived in Hayling Island in picturesque conditions, a sunny morning rising out of the fog before the wind picked up at just the right time for us to begin kitesurfing. Dan Charlish, the Director of Snow-Camp who did an incredible job organising this event, jokingly asked if Virgin could control the weather. It goes to show luck plays a big role in any adventure like this.
The team spirit was summed by kitesurfers of all abilities getting involved – from a guy dressed up as yours truly with a blow-up doll on his back, to four-time kite race world champion Steph Bridge, the current men’s kite race European Champion and youth world champion, Olly Bridge and four-time British kite champion Lewis Crathern. It was a real team effort from everyone.
My mum Eve, who is enjoying her 90th year, was on the beach cheering us on. Having been on plenty of adventures herself, it was lovely to share another exciting challenge with her today. She also has an Honorary President role with the RNLI - one of three wonderful charities all donations are going to support, alongside Virgin Unite and youth charity Snow-Camp. If you would like to make a donation please go to www.kitesurfingarmada.com.
We set a world record with our first attempt, and have signed a five year partnership with Snow-Camp. We will return next year and plan to build a weekend kitesurfing festival together. Who knows what records we could break in 2014!
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group
- By Richard Branson -
- Sep 15, 2013
Sir Richard Branson kitesurfing The Virgin boss already holds the record as the oldest person to kitesurf across the English Channel
Sir Richard Branson and hundreds of kitesurfers have broken a Guinness World Record in Hampshire.
The 318 participants formed the largest parade of kitesurfers to complete a one-mile course.
More than 250 were needed at the event at Hayling Island Golf Course to break the record.
The Virgin boss said: “When you see the beauty of all these kites up in the sky it’s magnificent [and] this is more than has ever happened before.”
Funds were raised for Snow-Camp, the RNLI and Virgin Unite.
Sir Richard, who led the parade out to sea, added: “Kiting is one of the best sports there is, if not the best sport.
“Kiters are always up for a challenge and so I suspect next year there will be 600 kiters, and the year after that 900, and so on.
“The most perilous aspect of this is kites getting tangled up in the sky [but] it’s really, relatively, very safe.
Sir Richard Branson Sir Richard led the parade out to sea
“I’d recommend it to anybody, just being out on the sea, blown by the wind, bouncing across the waves.”
Sir Richard already holds the Guinness World Record as the oldest person to kitesurf across the English Channel.
The 61-year-old crossed from Dymchurch, Kent, to Wimereux in northern France in three hours 45 minutes in July 2012.