The waters were warm and the wind was blowing in the right direction as he left Donaghadee at 9am, Northern Ireland this morning. Father of three John set off for Portpatrick, Scotland with the aim of completing the challenge in one hour.

Alas, whilst the time was on course to set ‘The Fastest Cross of the North Channel’ by windsurf, the conditions were too extreme off Scotland’s coast and with 18 miles gone, the challenge was aborted.

On a good note, John’s personal and corporate sponsorship raised close to £20,000 for Belfast-based ‘The Adsum Foundation’, which has raised enough money to build 5 fresh water wells in Madagascar where children have no access to clean and safe water.

Staff fundraising at Willis Insurance & Risk Management has already helped to build a new cyclone proof school in one of the poorest communities in Madagascar enabling children to have a better education.

John, who attempted the record back in 1990 but was unable to complete it due to the wind suddenly dropping, promised to give the challenge another go in the not so distant future. Donations to this cause can be made at

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