Society

Obama Accepts Kitesurfing Battle Against Richard Branson (Video)

| by Michael Howard

New images and a video from former President Barack Obama's vacation to the British Virgin Islands show him kitesurfing with billionaire friend Richard Branson (video below). As it turns out, it was all apart of a battle between the two friends -- and Obama won.

On President Donald Trump's Inauguration Day, Barack and Michelle Obama left Washington, D.C., for an extended getaway. They visited Palm Springs, California, before traveling to Branson's private island in the Caribbean, according to Today.

In a blog posted on his website on Feb. 7, Branson describes the former commander in chief's successful efforts to learn how to kitesurf.

"The sport has really taken off in the past decade and we have the perfect conditions and team to help anyone learn," Branson wrote. "I have also wanted to learn foilboard surfing. So we decided to set up a friendly challenge: could Barack learn to kitesurf before I learned to foilboard? We agreed to have a final day battle to see who could stay up the longest."

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Obama spent two days learning the basics of kitesurfing before getting into the water and trying it out. Branson, meanwhile, found foilboarding to be more difficult than he had anticipated.

"I soon learned that foilboarding, even if you can kitesurf, is a completely new sport," he wrote. "You come shooting out of the water, crashing down at high speed, and very much need a helmet and body armor for safety. But I slowly got the hang of it."

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Their friendly competition lasted several days, with Obama edging out a narrow victory.

"We were neck and neck until the last run on the last day, when I got up on the foilboard and screamed along for over 50 meters, three feet above the water," Branson recalled. "I was feeling very pleased with myself, only to look over and see Barack go 100 meters on his kiteboard! I had to doff my cap to him and celebrate his victory."

Branson said he's already looking forward to Obama's next visit.

"Now he has left, I’m going back into the water to practice for the next challenge," he wrote. "On his next visit, we plan to do the long kite over to Anegada together. Next time, may the best (British) man win!"

Sources: Today, Virgin.com, Richard Branson/YouTube / Photo credit: Virgin.com

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