It took two attempts in 24 hours, but Sir Richard Branson has entered the record books as the oldest person to kite-surf the English Channel.

The 61-year-old Virgin boss crossed from Dymchurch, Kent, to Wimereux in northern France in three hours and 45 minutes yesterday to establish the first Guinness World Record for the oldest person to make the crossing by kite-surfing.

Sir Richard failed to secure the second record he had also been hoping to snatch, which was set by his son Sam on Saturday for the fastest cross-Channel kite-surf.

Sam made the 30-mile journey from Wimereux to Folkestone in two hours and 18 minutes, shaving 12 minutes off the previous record, which was set in 1999. He was followed on to shore by eight friends and relatives who entered the record books as the fastest group of kite-surfers to make the Channel crossing, for which there was no previous record.


Sir Richard, who turns 62 next month, had to abort his part in Saturday's challenge after realising when he was halfway across that his kite was too small to carry him over.

But he immediately vowed to try again, saying he wanted to 'finish the job'.

Last night Sir Richard said the journey was 'far more challenging' than expected, with strong winds and large waves.

He added that he now had even more respect for his son in gaining his world record.

- Daily Mail