On Wednesday 18th of September 2019, Iain McCarthy of SUP Hub NI paddleboarded the North Channel from Donaghadee in Northern Ireland to Portpatrick, Scotland.
Setting off at 6:30am, with an entourage of friends swimming beside him, Iain covered the 35.99km route in 6 hours 40 minutes.
Raising money for the RNLI in the process (target of £3,599 relating to the distance travelled), Iain had been training and planning for a few months and was looking for decent weather window, reasonable tide times, swell forecasts and favourable wind all whilst hoping that life might also fall into place to give the best chance of success.
Setting off that morning, Iain didn’t know if he would complete it, but having handed his social media to Alan in the support boat, he soon had no choice but to “keeeeep paddling!”
With wind, swell and an increasingly fast tide all moving in different directions, as well as the onset of fatigue, the middle 2 hours were tough but with 5 nautical miles remaining, the swell eased leaving just the fast flowing cross tide the main obstacle.
After a few bananas, water and jelly babies, singing some shanty songs got the rhythm going again and the last 1hr 40 was nearly as strong as the first 1hr 40!
We made it. See the pics and footage below. I saw we because without the support boat of Michael Meharg, Rob Milligan, Lee Pye and Alan Whyte, this would not have been possible. Thank you all.