SUNDAY 15th SEPTEMBER 2013, HAYLING ISLAND BEACH: Sir Richard Branson and The Virgin Kitesurf Armada of 318 kitesurfers broke a World Record for the largest number of kitesurfers to complete a one-mile course and raised money for a collection of charities, Virgin Unite, Snow-Camp and The RNLI.
The Armada set off from Hayling Island beach near Portsmouth. Post the one-mile record-breaking mark most of the participants then kitesurfed further down the coast on a 46 mile journey towards Lancing, stopping off at Pagham and Littlehampton until the Kitesurf Armada’s official finish line in Lancing.
Sir Richard Branson, who in 2012 achieved the Guinness World Record for the oldest person to cross the English Channel, has added another record to his eclectic collection.
Others in the Virgin team include four-time kite race world champion Steph Bridge, the current men’s kite race European Champion and youth world champion, Olly Bridge, four-time British kite champion Lewis Crathern and other members of the Branson family who participated in the event.
All donations for the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada will go to three fantastic charities – Virgin Unite, Snow-Camp and the RNLI. The Virgin Kitesurfing Armada marks the beginning of a five year partnership with Virgin and the youth charity Snow Camp – an innovative charity that uses a unique combination of skiing, snowboarding and life-skills programmes to support inner-city young people.
WORLD-RECORD FAST FACTS:
- In 2012 Sir Richard Branson set a new Guinness World Record for the oldest person to kitesurf across the English Channel from Dymchurch, Kent, to Wimereux in northern France in three hours, 45 minutes
- Sam Branson broke the Guinness World Record for the fastest kitesurf across the English Channel in July 2012
- In 1986 Sir Richard and the Virgin Atlantic Challenger II crew broke the Blue Riband record for the fastest crossing of the North Atlantic
- 1987, Sir Richard set the record for the first hot air balloon to cross the Atlantic
- In 1991, Sir Richard was in the first balloon to cross the Pacific from Japan to Arctic Canada
- From 1995 to 1998, Sir Richard, Per Lindstrand and Steve Fossett made attempts to circumnavigate the globe by balloon
- In 2007 Sir Richard along with his children Holly and Sam, attempted to break the record for the fastest mono-hull sailing yacht across the Atlantic on the yacht, Virgin Money.
- In September 2013, Virgin Galactic broke the record for the flight of the highest commercial aircraft with its spacecraft Spaceship Two achieving 67,000 feet.