- Mark Walton
- 4:55:15 hour(s):minute(s):second(s)
- United Kingdom (Portpatrick)
The fastest crossing of the North Channel on a prone paddleboard is 4 hours 55 minutes 15 seconds by Mark Walton (Ireland), who travelled from Donaghadee, County Down, Northern Ireland, to Portpatrick, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, on 1 July 2022.
The crossing was piloted by Ian Conroy of the Irish Long Distance Swimming Association (ILDSA) and Infinity Channel Swimming on board the vessel Éigríoch. As per ILDSA rules, the route must follow the Admiralty Chart 2198, Southern Part, which measures 18.6 nautical miles (21.5 miles; 35 kilometres).
Walton set out from Donaghadee Harbour at 4.58 a.m. and arrived at Portpatrick Harbour at 9.53 a.m. This bettered his own record of 6 hours 11 minutes 37 seconds set on 11 June 2021, when he made the crossing with three others to raise funds for charity.
A new record for the fastest crossing of the North Channel by stand-up paddleboard was also set on 1 July 2022: Samantha Rutt (UK) traversed from Donaghadee to Portpatrick in 5 hours 2 minutes 35 seconds.
Prone paddleboards differ from stand-up paddleboards in that they are smaller, narrower and the rider uses just their hands for propulsion, rather than a paddle. The first person to stand-up paddleboard across the North Channel was Iain McCarthy from Bangor, Northern Ireland, on 18 September 2019, travelling from Ireland to Scotland in 6 hours 40 minutes. There have been previous paddleboard transits between Ireland and Scotland, but these did not go via the ILDSA-recognized North Channel route.