Barack Obama shows off kitesurfing skills to Richard Branson.
Barack Obama could have picked anywhere in the world to take his wife on that ‘very nice vacation’ he’d promised her after standing down as Leader of the Free World. So, one has to ask why he opted for Sir Richard Branson’s personal Caribbean paradise, Necker Island?
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Of course, the certainty of blue skies, golden sand and warm seas would appeal, and the privacy such a hideaway affords. But Necker is a party island, beloved of the celebrity hoi polloi, from Kates Moss and Winslet to ex-Baywatch star David Hasselhoff and the odd royal, global guru or head of state who fancies a freebie.
Former US President Barack Obama was spotted enjoying watersports on vacation with wife Michelle
Obama was not allowed to take part in any high adrenaline sports during his time as president
Branson says: ‘One of the first stories Barack told me when he and Michelle arrived on Moskito Island was how, just before he became president, he had been surfing on a dangerous break in Hawaii.’
We decided to set up a friendly challenge: could Barack learn to kitesurf before I learned to foilboard? We agreed to have a final day battle to see who could stay up the longest,’ Branson says
During the challenge, Branson managed to go for 50 meters on his foil board
Obama went more than 100 meters on his kiteboard and won the challenge
Obama and Branson wrestle on a boat
The island, has several residences staffed by 60 people, with enough room for 34 guests, although it could cost up to £40,000 per night
Ever since Branson acquired Necker in 1979 for about £180,000, he has busied himself inviting the great, the good (and not-so-good), and the merely famous to enjoy it. Let’s explore who all have visited Richard Branson’s Caribbean idyll, Necker Island.
Sir Richard Branson, third right, has invited a host of celebrities to his private paradise, Necker Island, including Harry Styles, left, and friends
Kate Winslet Oscar-winning actress visited in August 2011, with children Mia and Joe, and then-boyfriend, male model Louis Dowler, to join a house party made up of Branson family and friends.
The ex-Baywatch star enjoyed a post-panto sojourn with Welsh girlfriend Hayley Roberts in 2012 — and got to meet his ‘hero’ Ronnie Wood there.
Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker, pictured with wife Sharlely, have also been invited to the paradise
Kate Winslet, left, once saved Sir Richard’s 90-year-old mother Eve, centre, from a blaze at one of the island’s main residences in 2011
Princess Diana, visited the island with sons Harry and William, centre, in 1990
Actress and model Kelly Brook took this sultry snap while she was on the island in 2016
Natalie Imbruglia has been documenting a lavish stay at Sir Richard Brandsons private Necker Island
Hermione showed just how blue the sky and sea were as she stood beside it in a bright red bikini
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