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Athletes prepared for 28-mile ocean paddle

By WMNAGreenwood  |  Posted: May 07, 2014

Tom Butler

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Seven elite athletes are preparing for an inaugural 28-mile paddle from the Isles of Scilly to Cornwall for what they hope will become one of the biggest events of its kind.

The paddlers are taking to a range of different craft for the mammoth crossing which is expecting to take anything up to five-and-a-half hours.

On May 18, they will launch from the Isles of Scilly in single and double ocean kayaks, on stand up paddle boards and a racing surfboard, aiming to arrive at Sennen Cove by 7.30pm.

Athletes include Glenn Eldridge, from St Ives, Tarryn Brown from Portreath and Newquay’s Tom Butler who will be paddling the surfboard.

“I am so excited to be one of the athletes setting the pace for this event, it is going to be one of the most daring open ocean races in Europe, paralleled only by the Hawaiian Molokai crossing and is the only race between land masses in Europe,” Tom said.

“This is a feat of significant physiological tenacity and psychological endurance, our team of five men and two women will put their talents against treacherous currents and sudden changes in weather that occur across this stretch of water. Compounded by having to navigate a path through a 10km wide shipping lane.”

In addition to testing their physical fitness, the athletes will need acute navigational skills whilst riding the ocean swells.

They will be paddling for nearly three hours before they sight Cornwall and will have zigzag to contend with the currents. It is expected to take between three and five-and-a-half hours to complete, depending on the equipment used.

The athletes will set off at staggered intervals from the Isles of Scilly attempting to all arrive onto the sand as a group.

The event is being filmed for a documentary which, it is hoped, will inspire competitors from around the world to take part in future challenges.

A crowd funder page – on which donations are rewarded with prizes – has been set up to help raise the £4,000 filming and logistical costs. Cornish charities partnering the event include www.waveproject.co.uk and www.joewaypaddle.co.uk.

To find out more about the event and how to support it please visit www.thecelticrossing.com.

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