Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Flyboard inventor Franky Zapata fails Channel crossing attempt

French Flyboard inventor Franky Zapata has failed in his bid to cross the English Channel on his jet-powered hoverboard.

The daredevil missed his refuelling point after heavy waves meant the boat he was due to land on was moving too much and he subsequently fell into the water.

Speaking to the press after the failed attempt he said: "The biggest challenge finally was the landing, the boat was too small, the platform moving.

Mr Zapata expected to average 87mph during the flight. Credit: AP

"I was focused on that and when I approached the platform it just tipped, hit the feet of the Flyboard and then it was a disaster."

The 40-year-old was rescued by French divers and is doing fine.

The inventor of the jet-powered hoverboard was heading to Dover after taking off from near Calais ten minutes earlier.

He had previously said he was confident but did not want to guess how long it would take to travel across the 22-mile stretch of water.

"These are the kind of things that can happen," his wife Christelle said.

Mr Zapata explains to the press what went wrong with his refuelling. Credit: AP

She claimed the attempt wasn't a total disaster as he travelled more kilometres and faster than he expected.

"He will do it again," she said, "he never sits back after a failure."

Mr Zapata expected to average 87mph, so was aiming to complete the crossing in around 20 minutes.

He set off only carrying a powerpack.

Mr Zapata invented the high-speed flying device. Credit: AP

The attempt coincided with the 110th anniversary of Louis Bleriot's 1909 channel crossing, which was the first time anyone had crossed the channel in a heavier-than-air aircraft.

The beach which Mr Zapata took off from bears Bleriot's name.

Mr Zapata wowed crowds in Paris on Bastille Day by flying over the celebrations on his Flyboard Air hoverboard.