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Richard Branson turns back during English Channel crossing

26 August 2010 | 7:57 pm

Few people embody the saying “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” more than British entrepreneur Richard Branson. Branson is as famous for his daredevil stunts as for his Virgin branded companies including Virgin Galactic and Virgin America. But often his record-setting feats take a few attempts. The AP reports that Branson had to give up his attempt to kitesurf across the English Channel on Tuesday because of rough seas and high winds.

The stunt was an event to celebrate Branson’s 60th birthday last month. He was five miles out to sea when his support boats were forced to turn back. Branson and his his fellow kite-surfers, including his children, Holly and Sam and nephew Ivo along with a support team, relatives and friends, were over an hour into the four-hour journey. They were headed for northern French port of Boulogne.

According to the AP story, Branson said that while it was great conditions for kitesurfing it was bad conditions for the boats and too dangerous for them to continue. Writing on Twitter Branson said that he plans to try again on Wednesday adding that “I don’t think I’ve ever done an adventure where I’ve succeeded the first time. I’m looking forward to getting the job done tomorrow.” Should he succeed he will be the oldest person to cross the Channel by kitesurfing. He’s also hoping to set a record for the fastest crossing by a kitesurf team.

Kitesurfing is a sport that has risen rapidly in popularity during recent years. It is similar to windsurfing but with a smaller board and instead of mast and sail, there is a large kite which can be steered.

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