Guinness World Records - Officially Amazing

Olympic Kayaking hopeful sets new record time for English Channel crossing

 
 
 
 
 
1
 

British sprint canoeist Paul Wycherley set a new record for the fastest time to kayak across the English Channel at the weekend, beating a benchmark set by his coach Ian Wynne.

The 24-year-old from Guildford made the crossing in two hours and 28 minutes, shattering his mentor's time by an impressive 31 minutes.

Here below, Guinness World Records adjudicator Annabel Lawday details Paul's incredible day of record breaking.

Like many channel crossing records, the attempt began with uncertainty as to whether it would actually go ahead. However the British heatwave created perfect conditions for the crossing to begin early on Sunday.

The English Channel is one of the busiest waterways in the world so tidal flows and accuracy of the route are always essential for those attempting a crossing.

On the morning itself we all set off in two pilot boats, one high speed rib and the other a tug boat with a GPS system directing the route across the channel.  

As Paul entered the water to set off on the long journey to France, the team of colleagues and his parents cheered him on from both boats. I took the faster option and carefully monitored his progress across the channel from the Rib with a BBC cameraman following it all. Paul is due to be featured in a documentary about his Olympic progress so this footage will feature quite heavily in that program.

The conditions couldn't have better for the attempt, the sea was calm and the sun was out. The captain of the boat said that there were about two or three days a year as calm as we experienced that day.

As we crossed the channel at record speeds it was obvious Paul would break the existing record by Ian who was cheering him on from the boat.

Two hours and 28 minutes later we arrived in Cap Griz Nez in France. Paul didn't leave his boat as there are dangers of capsizing, but he crossed the line of rocks which marked the end to his gruelling journey.

After a few minutes in French water with Paul catching his breath, we hauled the canoe back onto the boat and made the journey back to the white cliffs of Dover.

Paul was sponsored by his company Huntswood who backed him financially but also in force on the day, with lots of colleagues on the boats willing him on. He also managed to collect over £100,000 for a couple of charities in the run up to the day, making his attempt even more special.

Paul will find out in a number of months whether he has made it into the official UK team for the London Olympics 2012. He is competing against many top athletes for very few places, but the drive and motivation he showed during this record attempt should stand him in good stead for reaching next year's games.

Search News