Crossing the English Channel by Stand Up Paddle Board

sup-crossing-The English Channel

On Friday 25 June Simon Bassett owner of 2XS / X-train and BSUPA head coach, Matt Argyle BSUPA Ranked 2nd overall 2009 and Jock Patterson, BSUPA champ 2009 set a new record for paddle surfing across The English Channel. The relay from Dover to Calais took just over 5 hours 38 minutes (it took Laird Hamilton 7 hours after he ran from London to Dover !)

The record which is currently being ratified should stand as a new relay Guinness World Record. This will be confirmed in the next few weeks.

Elliot Dudley (the human torpedo) BLU ranked 2 in 2009 -BSA SUP champ 2009 and the 4th member of the team paddled the whole distance and was hoping for a sub 5 hour time but managed 5 hours 38 mins for the 19.78 nautical mile distance and didn’t stop for the until he hit the beach in France.Even more amazingly Eliiot drove from dover to Watergate for a BLU surf competition on Saturday morning and came 3rd in the event.

Elliot: “Completing the crossing of the English Channel on an SUP was one of the hardest things I have ever done but also one of the most satisfying. To have raised so much money for such a great cause as SAS in the process just makes it all the sweeter. Hopefully we will also officially set the record for the fastest SUP crossing of the Channel pending the approval of Guinness World Records”

The crossing from Dover to Point Delas just south of Calais was in aid of Surfers Against Sewage and has raised (so far) just under £8000. If anyone would like to make any further donations please visit Simon’s JustGiving Page or Matt’s JustGiving Page.

Simon Bassett: “We had perfect conditions as we set off from Dover: flat water, light winds and sunshine. As the the crossing progressed, we hit a sea fog bank and had around 100 feet of visibility. A Tanker passed 200 feet in front of us, amazingly only visible on the support boat radar – we couldn’t see it in the fog! Fortunately the fog lifted and again we had perfect weather for the rest of the crossing to France. It was certainly much harder than we thought as we seemed to push against the current for most of the way there.”

Matt Argyle: “The crossing was harder than I expected it to be, but it was an amazing experience. We had everything thrown at us from tankers, currents, the heat, choppy water, bow waves and even a pod of dolphins. It was amazing to be in the water and to see the coast of France come out of the haze, it was also an experience to be dodging giant ships through the shipping lane. We also sadly saw a lot of rubbish floating in the sea, so please take your rubbish home with you when you visit the beach and support Surfers Against Sewage in keeping our oceans clean.”

Jock Patterson: “The crossing had many moods, it felt like different chapters in a book: a perfect start with clearing fog and sunshine, fog banks, chop, current and really tough paddling in the middle. Then the fog lifted and it became very hot and glassy. The sea breeze picked up and we got to France!

It was great to be out in the ocean with a bunch of mates. It’s a day I will never forget – really magic. When the dolphins turned up it was like a thankyou for the work SAS are doing to keep the ocean clean and a good omen for the crossing.

The crossing wasn’t just about the ego trip of setting a record. The bigger picture for all of us is about keeping the ocean clean and raisng awareness and funds for Surfers Against Sewage.”

The boat crew had to film and log the crossing with witness statements to verify the record attempt.

The whole project was very well organised by Dom, Andy and Steve from the Surfers Against Sewage team and Claire on the video camera from BSUPA.

The whole experience, from the begining of the training 6 months ago has been a good one. Even down to the the last month when I have been laid out with back problems, not certain whether I was going to be able to take part and was just back to to fitness only a few days before leaving.

I would like to thank the folowing who supported us with gear: Jason Greame from Da Kine, Chris from Animal wetsuits, James from Big Salty (the forecast Guru),Wouter from Seasprite Kialoa – Caroline and Andy who helped with the training and Jane who put up with my moaning during the endless training. I also must not forget all the people who kindly donated money for the crossing and finally to Jock who hollered at me to keep up with Elliot all the way from Dover.

Matt and Simon Used 14 ft Bark Expeditions with Kialoa Shaka Pu’u Paddles. Elliot used the same Baord and a Werner paddle. Jock used a Naish 14 ft with Kiaola Nalu Paddle. ..