Page last updated at 18:04 GMT, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 19:04 UK

Kitesurfer makes Channel crossing


It is thought to be the first time the crossing has been made

A kitesurfer from Dorset has completed what is thought to be the first crossing from the Channel Islands to the coast of England.

Andy Ward launched from Alderney and surfed through the English Channel shipping lane to Poole, where he lives.

The 70 nautical mile journey was completed in almost six hours but Mr Ward admitted he thought it was "all over" on a few occasions.

The attempt was in aid of the Special Boat Service Association (SBSA).

The charity supports members of the Royal Navy Special Boat Service with Mr Ward raising almost £3,000 so far.

Father of three Mr Ward, 33, has been kite surfing for three years.

He said: "There were a few difficulties. We couldn't leave the beach because the wind was only about seven or eight knots.

"I was working the kite so hard for about an hour and only managed to get about three or four miles off Alderney.

"There were two occasions when the kite hit the water and we were faffing about trying to get it relaunched.

"We thought it was all over... but we got there in the end."

During the attempt Mr Ward was accompanied by a support boat and monitored by a land-based team.

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