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25 June 2010, 12:33 | Updated: 25 June 2010, 13:03
Clean water campaigners Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and four of the UK’s best Stand Up Paddle-boarders aim to cross the English Channel and set two new Guinness world records in one go, with a relay team and a solo paddler taking on the challenge.
Launching from either Shakespeare’s Bay or Sapphire Hoe the champion paddlers will be aiming to raise £10,000 for SAS’s campaigns, celebrate the organisations 20th anniversary. Success is a real possibility and the relay team are the first ever team to attempt the famous crossing.
They include 2009 UK stand up paddleboarding champion Jock Patterson, Matt Argyle (Chairman of the British Stand Up Paddle Association (BSUPA) and ranked 2nd in the UK for stand up paddleboarding) and Simon Bassett (BSUPA head coach) will be joined by 2005 European, reigning Welsh longboarding champion and SAS South Wales rep Elliot Dudley, for his solo attempt. All of the paddlers have been training hard, putting in hundreds of lonely hours on the water and are extremely determined to claim these world records and raise as much money for SAS as possible.
Stand-up paddleboarding has become extremely popular amongst recreational water users across the UK and this will be the first official attempt of its kind.
The current record was set by a prone paddleboarder, the USA’s Michael O’Shaughnessy in 2006 in 5 hours and 9 minutes. During the week of the 18th – 25th of June, SAS and the paddlers will be poised, waiting for the best tides and conditions in which to complete the grueling, 21 mile crossing in record time.
The event has been put together by SAS with the support of BSUPA, and the paddlers aim to raise £10,000 in sponsorship money to support SAS’s campaigns to protect surfers, waveriders, waves and beaches around the UK.
Elliot Dudley, solo record paddler, says: “I am really looking forward to taking on this famous challenge and I hope that I will be reaching France as a world record holder. What makes this even more exciting is the opportunity to raise both money and awareness for SAS. As a passionate surfer and SAS Rep, I feel that the work SAS is doing is vital for the UK’s marine environment”
Hugo Tagholm, SAS’s Executive Director, says: “These guys are the best paddlers in the country and we are hoping for a great attempt. It’s fitting that in our 20th year SAS are still pushing the boundaries and supporting the development of recreational watersports. All the money raised will help us to continue developing our campaigns, making recreational waters safe for all. Good luck to the boys!”
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