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Paddling from Ireland to Islay

I just read an interesting and surprising article about a well known surfer, Al Mennie, who will paddle, on a stand-up paddle board, from the Giant's Causeway in Ireland to the Isle of Islay. Quite a remarkable and brave attempt if you ask me. The North Channel between Ireland and Islay can be a very challenging crossing for a boat, let alone a surfer on a paddle board. Al Mennie is not doing this for the challenge alone, he will try and raise money for the Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke organisation. Below a quote from the article which I found on UK Press:

Al Mennie, who has ridden some of the largest waves on record, is to steer a 20ft board 25 miles along the fringes of the North Atlantic. "The two biggest challenges are the cold, nothing like this has been done this far north and at this time of year. The wind chill will be a big factor," he said. "Then there's also the tidal streams pulling you one way and then the next."

The endurance test, expected to take eight hours, is being lined up for late March or early April and is based on similar stamina-sapping paddle races between islands in Hawaii. "I chose this route because the distance matches one of the crossings the Hawaiians do in sun cream and board shorts. There was a shorter 12-mile route but I wanted more of a challenge," he said. "I will be wearing a 6mm wetsuit and crossing one of the most dangerous stretches of water around the Irish coast known for its extremely deadly currents as the Irish Sea tides drain around Rathlin Island."

Tag: paddling charity north channel

The image is courtesy of www.lifecrowd.com

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