The girls are really going for it in the Stand Up Paddle world at the moment. Karen Wrenn is planning huge challenge. Just for our stand up paddle surfers in the UK – the Channel Islands that are being refered to here are in California – not the Bay of Biscay!
Stand up paddler Karen Wrenn will become the first person to paddle between all 8 of the Channel Islands, consecutively, off the coast of Southern California. Kaenon Polarized™, the Southern California-based Luxury Performance™ sunglass brand, proudly announces the 150 nautical mile event to take place February 8-16th (weather permitting).
“After he heard me talking about paddling the Channel Islands, my husband asked me if I was serious,” Wrenn said. “My answer was simple, why wouldn’t I?”
The 37-year old SUP champion and mother of two, who began her rise in the paddling arena in 2007, has been training intensely to complete what has never been accomplished by any male or female, outside of traveling by boat. Wrenn will be taken by boat to the islands and will paddle between islands over the course of approximately six days, returning to Long Beach by boat following completion of the crossing. Previous attempts by kayakers have been thwarted by harsh winds and harassment by local sharks between the islands.
“It’s still winter which means there’s a chance for large winter swells,” said Chuck Patterson, a big wave surfer, waterman and stand up paddler. “Karen may encounter those swells hitting outer reefs on all the islands, strong cold winds and very active sea life all while paddling one of the most beautiful island chains off the California coast.”
In preparation for the crossing, Wrenn has ramped up her training, more than doubling her normal paddling routine. Additional steps are being taken to ensure optimum physical fitness for the event.
“I have been doing cross training in the gym with my trainer and running to keep up my endurance and cardio,” Wrenn said. “I’ve also been testing electrolyte mixes, nutrition and recovery drinks to see how my body reacts when under stress. I am excited to put my training to use.”
The crossing will begin as Wrenn attempts to cross four of the northern-most islands during her first day. Over the course of the following five days she will make multiple crossings, including a 50-plus mile paddle from Santa Rosa to San Nicolas.
“Not everyone has the opportunity or the ability to do things like this, but I have been blessed with both,” Wrenn said. “It is going to be a great adventure and a great challenge. Pushing my limits teaches me so much about myself and what it means to really live and take advantage of every day and opportunity. I hope to inspire other people to be their best self and live life without regrets.”