Tom Pugh, AAP July 2, 2012, 6:37 am from www.thewest.com.au
Richard Branson has entered the record books as the oldest person to kite-surf the English Channel - on his second attempt in 24 hours.
The 61-year-old Virgin tycoon crossed from Dymchurch, Kent to Wimereux in northern France in three hours and 45 minutes to establish the first Guinness World Record for the oldest person to make the crossing by kite-surf.
He failed to secure the second world record he was also eyeing, set by his son Sam a day earlier for the fastest cross-Channel kite-surf.
Sam Branson made the 50km journey from Wimereux to Folkestone in two hours and 18 minutes, shaving 12 minutes off the record 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.
Branson, who turns 62 next month, had to abort his part in Saturday's challenge after realising his kite was too small to carry him over while he was halfway across.
But he immediately vowed to try again, saying he wanted to "finish the job".
He jokingly told his son to enjoy the next 24 hours as the fastest cross-Channel kite-surfer because he aimed to take the title from him.
After completing the journey Branson said it was "far more challenging" than he thought, with strong winds and large waves.
"It's wonderful for the family to have set three world records in two days. I have even more respect for Sam's world record having taken so long myself to get across."
Two years ago, Branson had to abandon an attempt at setting the same records due to poor weather conditions.
In 1987, his hot air balloon Virgin Atlantic Flyer crossed the Atlantic, setting the record as the first balloon to do so.
In January 1991, he was in the first balloon to cross the Pacific from Japan to Arctic Canada.
And from 1995 to 1998, Branson, Per Lindstrand and Steve Fossett made attempts to circumnavigate the globe by balloon.