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Watch: the first person to fly over the English Channel on a hoverboard

French inventor and former jet-ski champion Franky Zapata completed the 22-mile journey this weekend.

Watch: the first person to fly over the English Channel on a hoverboard
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You know the future is now when a person flies from one country to the next on a hoverboard—over 22 miles of water, no less. That’s exactly what French inventor and former jet-ski champion Franky Zapata did this Sunday morning, reports the Guardian. The 40-year-old hopped on his custom-made “Flyboard” hoverboard and set off from Sangatte in the Pas de Calais region on the northern coast of France and landed past the white cliffs of Dover in England just 22 minutes later.

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During the crossing, which measures 22 miles, Zapata reached speeds of up to 110mph on his Flyboard and flew up to 65 feet above the water level. Zapata did have to land on a boat stationed halfway out in the channel to refuel his Flyboard since the device could only carry enough kerosene for about 10 minutes of airtime. This was actually Zapata’s second attempt at crossing the channel on his Flyboard. His first attempt on July 25 ended in failure as he failed to make the landing on the refueling ship and fell into the sea.

Upon touching down in Dover, Zapata said:

I’m feeling happy . . . it’s just an amazing moment in my life. The last 10% [of the flight] was easier . . . because I had the time to look at the cliffs.

You can check out Le Monde’s video of Zapata’s feat below.

About the author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at MichaelGrothaus.com

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