Frenchman achieves ‘dream’ of first hoverboard Channel crossing

St Margaret’s Bay, United Kingdom, Aug 4 (AFP/APP):A Frenchman who has spent years developing a jet-powered hoverboard zoomed across the English Channel on Sunday, fulfilling his quest just 10 days after failing in a first attempt when he fell into the water while trying to refuel.
Franky Zapata set off on his “Flyboard” from Sangatte on the northern coast of France at 8:17 am (0617 GMT) for the 35-kilometre (22-mile) trip to St. Margaret’s Bay in Dover, on England’s south coast.
Escorted by three helicopters, he glided across the water in the early morning light and landed 22 minutes later in the picturesque bay, where dozens of onlookers and journalists awaited him.
“Everything went great! Even though it was still tricky,” Zapata said after the flight, referring to a complex landing manoeuvre on a boat around three-quarters of the way across to pick up a fresh backpack full of kerosene.
He said that based on the indicators in the visor of his helmet, he raced over the busy shipping lane at a speed of 160-170 km/h (100-105 mph), doing zig-zags as he neared the coast.
“Then I saw England getting closer, so I tried to have some fun so I could forget the pain — my legs were on fire!” he said.
He later broke down in tears of emotion while talking on the telephone to his son, who told him, “Dad, you’re the best!”
“Frankly, I’m tired,” he said later. “I need a holiday.”

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