Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Sir Richard Branson breaks record in kitesurfing parade

Sir Richard Branson kitesurfing
Image caption The Virgin boss already holds the record as the oldest person to kitesurf across the English Channel

Sir Richard Branson and hundreds of kitesurfers have broken a Guinness World Record in Hampshire.

The 318 participants formed the largest parade of kitesurfers to complete a one-mile course.

More than 250 were needed at the event at Hayling Island Golf Course to break the record.

The Virgin boss said: "When you see the beauty of all these kites up in the sky it's magnificent [and] this is more than has ever happened before."

Funds were raised for Snow-Camp, the RNLI and Virgin Unite.

'Perilous aspect'

Sir Richard, who led the parade out to sea, added: "Kiting is one of the best sports there is, if not the best sport.

"Kiters are always up for a challenge and so I suspect next year there will be 600 kiters, and the year after that 900, and so on.

"The most perilous aspect of this is kites getting tangled up in the sky [but] it's really, relatively, very safe.

Image caption Sir Richard led the parade out to sea

"I'd recommend it to anybody, just being out on the sea, blown by the wind, bouncing across the waves."

Sir Richard already holds the Guinness World Record as the oldest person to kitesurf across the English Channel.

The 61-year-old crossed from Dymchurch, Kent, to Wimereux in northern France in three hours 45 minutes in July 2012.

In 1987, he set the record for the first hot air balloon to cross the Atlantic.

And in 1991, he 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.

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