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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 October, 2003, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
Blind soldier breaks water speed record
Mark Threadgold
Mark Threadgold celebrates his new record
A former soldier has became the fastest blind man on water after breaking his own world speed record in Cumbria.

Mark Threadgold, from Doncaster, broke the former record of 73mph in a test run on Lake Windermere on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the 36-year-old improved the mark again in two runs on the lake, setting a new world blind water speed record of 91.66mph.

As he brought the 35ft Blue Ice powerboat back to shore, the former sergeant in the Royal Corps of Signals said he felt "smashing".

And he promised: "I'm happy with that, but there's more to come."

He hopes to push the record even closer to the "elusive" 100mph mark in another attempt later.

Blind water speed attempt
Mark Threadgold in his boat on Lake Windermere

Mr Threadgold, a former sergeant in the Royal Corps of Signals, lost his sight completely after suffering horrific head injuries in an accident in 1999.

But having rebuilt his life, including setting a new endurance record by driving his boat around the Isle of Wight last year, he is hoping to raise 25,000 in the charity record attempt.

He said: "Having the chance to attempt this extraordinary challenge will serve to show the wider community that those with disabilities not only have the same aims and ambitions as everyone else, but the same motivation and determination to achieve them."

Mr Threadgold has been joined in the attempt by an experienced powerboat driver, but has been in sole command of his craft throughout, organisers said.

He is raising funds for St Dunstan's, a charity which helps rehabilitate and train blind ex-servicemen and women.

Blind pilot's Channel record
24 Aug 03  |  England
Blind man breaks speed record
13 Aug 03  |  Manchester

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