Nick Thorn has just completed the second installment of his Charity Paddle Trilogy, here’s how the day went down: words from Nick himself…
We were up and left early on Monday from Devon, boards ready, team ready long journey to come as it took over 6 hours to get to Dover. Once in Dover we had a quick team meeting with the boat skipper, event team and paddlers about the planned course we were going to take. We had a look at the beach we were going to start from, a few team interviews and photos, a bit of food and an then an early night was called for.
The next morning was a bit grey and cold to say the least but it was time to go. With all our supplies loaded for the day we were off on the boat for 8am and around to Shakespeare beach (the start).
Myself and Dave started the paddle off with excitement and plenty of enthusiasum. With 45 minute stops, the paddlers were feeling strong and making good time. We first came into the shipping lane that went South, fortunatly there were not too many big ships to navigate around at that time. We did however pass 8 Cross-Channel swimmers which for me was amazing, to think all those people were swimming on the same day and to see how popular it still was. At one point in the paddle it was 210 ft down – no touching the bottom there then! With our estemated time of 6 hours we were well on schedule and all the boys were paddling really well. Phill was starting to feel it a bit towards the end but had enough energy to get him in and onto French soil with a record braking time of 5 hours 22 mins – we had broken the previous team record from James Cracknell (Olympic rower) and company at a set time of 5 hours 26 minutes so very close but what an acheivement to break the record. At this point we had three paddlers on the beach so Dave and Mikey our cameraman also swam to shore which when we got there was a bit choppy as we had a NE wind blowing the whole way. But we made it! On the beach for a few photos and up to a resturant for a quick cheeky beer – which they staff did look a bit bewildered to what we have just done. Five glasses of your very best beer was ordered with a few well earned saluts and we were back in the water and on the boat for a much faster pace back to England!
This whole trip for me was an amazing feat and in aid of such a good cause – Surf Relief. I am very keen to take the paddle on single-handed next year and try to smash the record. With many thanks to all the crew on the boat and organisers of the event – it is just a great feeling to think I have completed the English Channel.
Nick’s 3rd Paddle in the Trilogy will be the Bristol Channel and one of the toughest! Check out nickthorn.tv for the lead up to this one!