In the video below, Sir Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand talk to Guinness World Records about their epic achievement to be the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a hot air balloon in 1987.

The video forms part of a series of short original films to commemorate 60 years of the much loved Guinness World Records annual and record-breaking organisation, celebrating some of the most iconic records that have been documented over the past six decades.

Speaking exclusively to Guinness World Records for the 60th Anniversary series, entrepreneur and multiple record breaker Sir Richard Branson describes the moment he and his flight-mate Per Lindstrand faced disaster in the final seconds of their record-breaking, air-borne voyage.

“I climbed back into the capsule and decided to try to fly the beast back down,” Branson recalled, as the explosive devices which separate the balloon envelope from the capsule failed and he saw Lindstrand hurl himself into the sea as the balloon started to rise again.

“I realised it was probably my best bet to have a go at taking the balloon down as slowly as possible and then throwing myself into the water at 40 feet, which was freezing cold”. Branson and Lindstrand were rescued and survived to tell the tale and become record holders.

Richard Branson with certificate

Sir Richard has written at length today about the 60th anniversary of Guinness World Records and his pride at being a multiple record holder on the website. To read the blog post, click here.

To view the rest of the series, click the playlist below.

The series, hosted on the Guinness World Records YouTube Channel, includes never before seen contributions from truly great record holders such as Lord Sebastian Coe, Sir Roger Bannister, Sir Richard Branson and Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Other iconic records featured in this compelling 13-part series include the First Sub-Four Minute Mile, Highest Mountain, Fastest Land Speed Record, and Fastest 100m, records that have been the driving force behind so many great human achievements and much admired by fans over the last 60 years. For a full list and synopsis of all films, please see page 3 of this release.

To read more about our anniversary, head to