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Kitesurfers Ashley Overton and Rob Ward will cross the British Channel

16 January 2009 | 5:42 pm

Local kitesurfing enthusiasts, Ashley Overton and Rob Ward have announced that they will be attempting to kitesurf across the British Channel in record time to raise money for Hampshire based charity, Champion Behaviours.

Champion Behaviours is a non profit organisation set up to deliver motivational workshops and programmes to young people aged between 12-15 years old, who are in danger of exclusion from school and society. The organisation works tirelessly with local communities to ensure young people feel a sense of belonging, rather than creating their own groups and rules that can cause problems in society.

Ashley, who is also New Boat Sales Director at Ancasta International Boat Sales, has always had a passion for the sea. Already a keen sailor, he took up kitesurfing five years ago with the ultimate goal of speed racing across the channel in mind.

37 year old Rob is a dedicated adventurer and has completed previous windsurfing, cycling and walking challenges for a number of charities. Rob has been kiting for four years.

The challenge is due to take place in May 2009 with the hope of raising in excess of £20,000 for Champion Behaviours. In order to break the current record, Ashley and Rob will be setting sail from Hythe in Kent, and will aim to endure the tough 25 mile crossing across the busiest shipping lane in the world to reach the French shores of Wissant in under two and a half hours. They will then turn around and return straight to Hythe, to become the first ever people to achieve a double crossing of this kind.

Ashley and Rob will be using a quiver of 10m2 to 18m2 square kites from pro specialists, North and Slingshot Kites. These kites have an average speed of 15 knots and a maximum speed of 25 to 30 knots. In order to break the current world record, they will need to battle against strong winds and large waves, travelling at a consistent speed of ten knots, on boards weighing just 6kgs. Top speeds will need to be maintained at all times in order to allow for potential gear failure and kite changes en route.

Ashley says, “This entire project is about pushing the boundaries, setting targets which are out of comfortable reach – the distance, the records to beat, the fitness levels required and financial targets for the charity. This will be a great challenge for keeping me focused for 2009.”

Rob agrees, “The Cross channel challenge absolutely hits the spot for me! It combines both my passions for kitesurfing and adventure in a perfect way. This is a challenge that I am totally committed to and I will do whatever I can to ensure it’s a success.”

Paul Stevens, Founder of Champion Behaviours says, “I’m absolutely thrilled to hear about Ashley and Rob’s commitment to raising money for Champion Behaviours. The difference it will make to us could be huge and I look forward to being involved with their continued efforts over the coming months.”

Kitesurfing enthusiasts, Ashley Overton and Rob Ward will be launching their plans to attempt to kitesurf across the British Channel in record time, to raise money for Hampshire based charity, Champion Behaviours.

[Source: BYM]

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