Northern Ireland

NI windsurfer makes bid to set world record

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Media captionChris Loughridge windsurfed despite poor weather and low mist

Chris Loughridge has always loved windsurfing.

Pottering about off the County Antrim coast over the years, he has often looked over at Scotland, and wondered how long it would take to get there.

This summer it occurred to him that making the trip as quickly as possible seemed like the best way to raise money for charity.

One morning, in June, the dentist from Belfast unloaded his gear at Cushendall, ready for a speedy crossing to the Mull of Kintyre to the north east, a distance of about 19 miles.

He was hoping for two things, to raise money and to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest crossing.

Image caption Chris Loughridge took on the challenge for the Marie Curie cancer charity

No-one currently holds the title, and the organisation thinks it should take about 90 minutes.

But the weather was against Chris from the start, and he wondered if the crossing would even be possible.

"It was very difficult to sail in the right direction because of the wind and waves," he said.

"You were sailing along, riding down a wave, and then a wave would come in completely the opposite direction and I fell a few times, just because I was completely out of control."

With contrary winds, and low mist for the whole crossing, he was relieved to see the Mull of Kintyre loom out of the murk just over an hour and a half later.

"I hadn't really intended to land at the cliffs, but that's where we came out of the mist, and I saw a rock and thought 'That's Scotland, that'll do...'" Chris said.

Image caption Chris Loughridge has always loved windsurfing but the weather was against him

However, the record for the crossing eluded him.

It turns out that Guinness World Records wanted the route to be further south along the coast, between Donaghadee and Portpatrick, a distance of about 21 miles.

Guinness World Records told the BBC: "We are sorry to hear that Christopher was unsuccessful in his Guinness World Records attempt back in June of this year.

"Unfortunately, on this occasion, we would be unable to ratify the record due to the route not corresponding with our requirements.

Image caption Chris has said he'll give the record another attempt next year "once it gets a bit warmer"

"We wish Christopher all the best in any future record attempts."

That sounds like something of a challenge. So is Chris willing to have another go at the record, this time using the agreed route?

"Definitely," he said. "I'll give that a go next year, once it gets a bit warmer again and a bit more daylight."

He will no doubt be hoping for a fairer wind, and no mist.