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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 September 2007, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Kite surfer's Irish Sea challenge
Al Crisp
Al Crisp has been kite surfing for about three years
A kite surfer who broke his back in a freak accident falling from a third storey window is aiming to sail from Ireland to his home town of Aberdyfi.

Al Crisp, 28, is making the gruelling 90 mile journey to raise funds for the spinal injuries unit that treated him.

The Outward Bound instructor was flat on his back for two months with 17 fractures after the accident last year.

He is being joined in Friday's attempt by fellow kite surfer Rupert Tildesley, 34, who is also from the Gwynedd town.

The pair have been training hard throughout the summer and are hoping to cross the Irish Sea in around seven hours.

"It will be very difficult but it's mainly about stamina - especially staying on your feet on the board for so long," he said.

Al Crisp
I wanted to do something for the unit that put me back together
Al Crisp

Kite surfing is an "extreme sport" where the rider flies a large inflatable kite to pull them across the surface of the water on a small board.

"We've been training very hard and are confident we are up to it.

"We have got a support boat. There are two very experienced sailors on it and they will be doing all the navigating.

"Hopefully we will be sailing down the estuary (at Aberdyfi) tomorrow afternoon."

Following his accident in March last year Mr Crisp was treated at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Spinal Injuries Unit in Oswestry.

East coast

"It was just a freak accident and I wanted to do something for the unit that put me back together," he added.

Mr Tildesley is raising funds for Cancer Research following the death of his father two years ago and between them they are aiming to raise 10,000.

They will be setting out from Arklow on Ireland's east coast on Friday.

"The support we've had from sponsors and friends and from the local village has been fantastic," he added.

Coastal race for extreme sports
15 Sep 04 |  Dorset
Kitesurfer launches solo Channel attempt
10 Sep 03 |  Hampshire/Dorset

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