A kitesurfer has powered his way into the record books via the Isle of Wight. Despite strong wind warnings and adverse tide conditions, James Meaning completed what is believed to be the first circumnavigation of the Isle of Wight using a kitesurfing board.

The Yarmouth man set off from the town at 8.30am on Saturday and finished the 55-mile route on his 4ft board in six hours and 13 minutes, at speeds averaging more than 15 knots.

Conditions were favourable until he reached St Catherine’s Point, the southern tip of the Island. There, the wind increased to more than 25 knots, or Force 6, and James had to tack the kite directly upwind to reach Bembridge. It meant the 38-year-old covered 100 miles in total. James hung on upwind and on to the final turn downwind from Bembridge to Cowes and back to Yarmouth.

“I have attempted the feat twice before and both times I got halfway round before meeting an untimely end because of the wind dying or getting too strong,” said James, a watersports instructor and businessman. “When I reached St Catherine’s I was very doubtful it would be possible, but as I neared Ventnor things calmed down again.”

James was escorted by a RIB, which used to belong to Freshwater Bay Inshore Rescue, and the £136 he raised will be donated to the charity.

Source: Isle of Wight CP

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