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Frenchman to retry 'flyboard' trip across English Channel

Franky Zapata, "Le Rocketman", a 40-year-old inventor, performs a training flight over the Saint Inglevert airport near Calais, Northern France, Wednesday July 24, 2019. Zapata, the man who wowed the crowd on Bastille Day, whirling over France’s invited leaders on his flyboard, is making final checks for his biggest challenge: soaring across the English Channel.  Zapata is to take off on Thursday anchored to his flyboard _ a small flying platform he invented _ from Sangatte, in France’s Pas de Calais region, and hopes to land in the Dover area.  (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Franky Zapata, "Le Rocketman", a 40-year-old inventor, performs a training flight over the Saint Inglevert airport near Calais, Northern France, Wednesday July 24, 2019. Zapata, the man who wowed the crowd on Bastille Day, whirling over France’s invited leaders on his flyboard, is making final checks for his biggest challenge: soaring across the English Channel. Zapata is to take off on Thursday anchored to his flyboard _ a small flying platform he invented _ from Sangatte, in France’s Pas de Calais region, and hopes to land in the Dover area. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Published: Jul. 31, 2019 at 4:52 PM EDT
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A French inventor will try again to traverse the English Channel on a flying board after his first attempt failed halfway.

Franky Zapata's wife, Christele, said Wednesday that he will retry the 36-kilometer (22.4-mile) journey Sunday from the French town of Sangatte to the area near Dover.

Last week, on his first attempt, Zapata crashed into a refueling boat 20 kilometers (12 miles) into the trip. This time, his wife said he will use a larger boat for the refueling stop in hopes of making landing easier.

He had to build a new board, a customized version of the Flyboard his company sells for watersports. The engine is fueled by kerosene he carries in a backpack, his feet fastened to the board.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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