Friday 17 November 2017

Marine One! Barack Obama casts off cares of the world on Caribbean holiday

Sir Richard Branson and former president of the United States Barack Obama
Sir Richard Branson and former president of the United States Barack Obama

Independent.ie Newsdesk and Agencies

Barack Obama cast off the burden of presidency by taking part in extreme sports with billionaire Sir Richard Branson.

Photographs and video footage show the pair getting to grips with watersports on a private Caribbean island owned by the British entrepreneur.

Mr Obama spent two days learning to kitesurf on the beach at Necker island before taking to the water.

Sir Richard said: "Being the former president of America, there was lots of security around, but Barack was able to really relax and get into it."

They engaged in a "friendly challenge" to see whether the ex-president could stay up longer while kitesurfing than the Virgin founder could on a foilboard.

"Barack and I both fell many times, but we kept trying again and again and made progress over the days," Sir Richard said.

Sir Richard Branson and former president of the United States Barack Obama
Sir Richard Branson and former president of the United States Barack Obama

"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 metres, three feet above the water.

"I was feeling very pleased with myself, only to look over and see Barack go 100 metres on his kiteboard. I had to doff my cap to him and celebrate his victory.

" After all he has done for the world, I couldn't begrudge him his well-deserved win."

Sir Richard invited Mr Obama and his wife Michelle on the trip "for a complete break" after leaving the White House.

He said the ex-president told him he had not had the chance to "surf, enjoy watersports or do many of the things he loved" during his eight years in office.

Sir Richard added that they are already planning their next break together on Anegada island.

Press Association

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