Kitesurfing entrepreneur shortlisted for lunch with Branson

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ENTREPRENEUR James Crook has been shortlisted in a competition that could see him win £1,000 and lunch with Richard Branson.

James is the founder and managing director of Forty1 Kitesurfing.

As an avid kitesurfer based in Portsmouth, James was looking for a way to develop a low-cost hydrofoil for kiteboards.

With an established brand already in place, James spotted a monthly Crowdfunder competition looking for new, innovative projects.

He said: ‘One Friday I uploaded a short video clip of my hydrofoil idea and it just took off! I’ve been shortlisted from 100-odd applicants as one of six finalists.’

‘I’ve found it exciting to see how the project evolves and the interest it generates. ‘

James said that he had always loved being creative and liked to find out how things worked.

He added: ‘With each iteration of the design, I can see it evolving. I can see challenges and how to overcome them and I apply for design protection on each one.

‘I sometimes wish the next design would be the final one, but when it is not, I think that when I do get to a working solution, which I will, it makes it that little bit more satisfactory to look back on the journey I took.’