Sam beats us to world record
- By Richard Branson -
- Jun 30, 2012
We headed from France in pirate outfits, due to the fact that the French authorities said we couldn’t cross the channel. Fortunately we managed to sneak out of French territory before being intercepted by the French navy.
Sam and I had planned to try and beat the record together, with all going fine until we reached half way across and could clearly see the white cliffs of Dover. The chase boat then told me that I need to go more up wind or I would collide with the white cliffs, sadly my kite wasn’t big enough, so I realised I needed to head back to France to get a larger kite. I told Sam to continue on to attempt to get the record.
On getting back to France I found that there were no larger kites, but in the mean time Sam and my nephews and friends had a magnificent crossing. Sam hit the beach first, beating the all-time record for the fastest crossing of the English channel by twelve minutes – in 2 hours 18 minutes. All the nephews and team followed minutes later, also beating record.
We also got the group record for a crossing, with nine people completing the journey: Sam Branson, Milo Brockway, Ludo Brockway, Jack Brockway, Stephanie Bridge, Gemma Brill, Stijn, Dmitiri and Jason Fass in 2 hours 41 mins.
As a father and uncle I’m enormously proud of them all but having attempted to cross the channel twice, I still have something to prove to myself. So tomorrow, weather willing, i’ll have another go at breaking the new world record – held by my son. I have told Sam to enjoy the next 24 hours.
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group