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New Record Attempt in Kiteboarding

HUGE seas, extreme fatigue and speeds of up to 35mph.

These are just some of the challenges a Winchester man will face as he aims to set a new world record in kitesurfing endurance across the English Channel.

Ashley Overton hopes to sail into the record books as the first person to kitesurf across the world’s busiest shipping lane and back again.

Along with his friend Rob Ward, the 44-year-old will sail 50 miles across the Channel in May to raise £20,000 for Hampshire-based charity Champion Behaviours.

Ashley, a sales director at Hamble-based Ancasta International Boat Sales, started kitesurfing five years ago with the ultimate goal of speed racing across the Channel.

The dad-of-two, of Alison Way, Oram’s Arbour, said: “This entire project is about pushing the boundaries, setting targets which are out of comfortable reach – the distance, the records to beat, the fitness levels required and financial targets for the charity.

“This will be a great challenge for keeping me focused for 2009.”

The pair will set sail from Hythe in Kent and will aim to reach the French shores of Wissant in under two and a half hours.

They will then turn around and return straight to Hythe to become the first people to achieve a crossing of this kind.

Ashley added: “My biggest fear is something breaking and not completing it.

“I’ve no fears about the time, distance or ships. With the right preparation these things are not a problem. But it has to be a push or it won’t be a challenge.”

The kites have an average speed of 15 knots and a maximum speed of 25 to 30 knots.

In order to break the current world record they will need to battle against strong winds, large waves and travel at a average speed of ten knots.

Champion Behaviours is a non-profit organisation set up to deliver motivational workshops and programmes to young people aged between 12-15 years old, who are in danger of exclusion from school and society.

The organisation ensures young people feel a sense of belonging, rather than creating their own groups with their own rules that can then result in causing problems within society.

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