Richard Branson abandons record attempt

25 August 2010, 15:07 | Updated: 25 August 2010, 15:26

The Oxfordshire businessman was hoping to set two world records by kite-boarding across the English Channel.

After strong winds and a choppy sea made it unsafe for him to proceed with the 24-mile crossing yesterday, a lack of wind meant he had to abandon his second attempt today.

He'd hoped to celebrate his 60th birthday by becoming the oldest person to cross the Channel by kite-board.

He had also aimed to make the fastest crossing by a kite-board team.

Accompanied by his children Holly, 29, and Sam, 26, and a number of others including Princess Beatrice's boyfriend Dave Clark, 28, he planned to set off from Dungeness in Kent this morning, hoping to reach the French coast.

The group included Sir Richard's 15-year-old nephew Ivo Branson, who hoped to become the youngest person to cross the Channel by kite-board.

But the winds were much lower than anticipated and after three attempts to get his kite up in the water, he had to call it a day.

Richard said:

‚ÄúDespite being ready from 7am on the beach, with all 18 of us  pumped up to set a couple of World Records - the winds defeated us again today. 

"The two days couldn't have been more different - yesterday the winds raged - today they whispered!

"One extreme to another.  But setting World Records is never easy or we'd all be doing them! 

"Sometimes Mother Nature just decides today was not your day... 

"But we'll all be back to give it another go in the not too distant future.  I'll delay my birthday celebrations until then - on a positive note I guess that means I'm still 59!"