South Coast kitesurfing enthusiasts, Ashley Overton and Rob Ward announced in January that they will be attempting to kitesurf across the British Channel in record time to raise money for Hampshire based charity, Champion Behaviours.
The plans have progressed in the meantime and the challenge is due to take place in May 2009 with the hope of raising in excess of £10,000 for Champion Behaviours. In order to set a new record, Ashley and Rob will be setting sail from Poole, and will aim to endure the tough 75-mile crossing across the busiest shipping lane in the world to reach the French shores of Cherbourg some 8 hours later.
An achievement, without physical contact or outside assistance from their accompanying mothership will give them the Guinness Record for Cross-Channel Kitesurfing, this being the first approved and authorised crossing
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 works tirelessly with local communities to ensure young people feel a sense of belonging, rather than creating their own groups and rules that can cause problems in society.
Ashley, who is also New Boat Sales Director at Ancasta International Boat Sales, has always had a passion for the sea. Already a keen sailor, he took up kitesurfing five years ago with the ultimate goal of speed racing across the channel in mind.
37 year old Rob is already a dedicated adventure and has completed previous windsurfing, cycling and walking challenges for various charities. Rob has been kiting for four years.
Ashley says, “This entire project is about pushing the boundaries, setting targets which are out of comfortable reach – the distance, the records, the fitness levels required and financial targets for the charity. Anything less wouldn’t hurt, and therefore not enough of a challenge. This will be a great challenge for keeping me focused for 2009. When I look out from the beach at Poole, I still have to remind myself that the furthest spot on the horizon is probably only one-third of the total distance, which is very different to the 100 metre runs that most kiteboarders are used to. All being well, this should be the kick-start for a Round-Britain challenge in 2010!”
Rob agrees, “The Cross channel challenge absolutely hits the spot for me! It combines both my passions for kitesurfing and adventure in a perfect way. This is a challenge that I am totally committed to and I will do whatever I can to ensure it’s a success.”
Paul Stevens, Founder of Champion Behaviours says, “I’m absolutely thrilled to hear about Ashley and Rob’s commitment to raising money for Champion Behaviours. The difference it will make to us could be huge and I look forward to being involved with their continued efforts”.
All contributions most welcome via http://www.justgiving.com/ashleyovertonrobward