In April 2014, after some encouragement from my great mate Carl Sawyer, and with the help of the guys at Wilderness SUP, I bought my first stand up paddle-board, (SUP). Little did I know then, but this was to become a huge part of my life.
Throughout 2014 I set several SUP firsts, and in the October, along with Carl and his brother Jason, we spent 3 days paddling the 92km Caledonian Canal, from Fort William to Inverness.
In 2015, records set included being the first people, (along with Carl), to paddle the 50km sea crossing from the Scilly Isles to Cornwall on inflatable SUPs.
In 2016 I teamed up with Allistair Swinsco and Ian Cromack, and yet more records were set, such as the ASKT, 3 Lakes Challenge and the Magnificent 7. I finished the year by going back to the Caledonian Canal, (this time with Allistair), and paddling the 92km route non-stop, (see Great Geln Paddle Challenge).
Now in 2017, I have yet more challenges to attempt, with my biggest yet in September, the 11 City SUP non-stop – 220km, no-stop, in under 35 hours.
All of the above, and so much more, can be found below.
I have also had a lot of help from my sponsors, so I would like to take this opportunity to say a massive THANK YOU to them. Your support has been, and continues to be, very much appreciated.
16th July 2017
Crikey, what a blast!!
I normally check the BBC weather forecast for Pitlochry, then either add 50% or double to the predicted wind. Today was a double plus!
With a forecasted wind of 11kmph, when I arrived it was definitely above 20, with gusts of over 30! (In these gusts all I could do was try to keep the board pointing forward, as we went backwards, at speed, waiting for the gust to stop.)
The waves at one point were over 2ft, and whilst riding my 14’ board on 2 waves at once, Read more…
4th July 2017
With the awesome sea kayak adventurer Patrick Winterton as my sighted guide, we paddled the 70km from Griminish on North Uist to St Kilda, (the most remote part of the British Isles). In doing this, I became the first person to paddle a SUP to St Kilda. Full write-up HERE. Read more…
18th June 2017
As ¾ of the UK was bathed in sunshine, Patrick Winterton and I paddled out to Lismore lighthouse from Oban and back again, with wind, rain, and lots of CalMac Ferries wakes for company.
For the majority of the way back, the wind was replaced by thick fog, and due to poor visibility we had to paddle back on a compass bearing. At one point Patrick commented that I was the only other thing he could see in the fog. I apologised for that!
This 17km round trip took us a little over 2.5 hours to complete, Read more…
6th June 2017
Thanks to the crew from Gijon for making Rhona Dunbar, Stumpy, and I so very welcome, and for taking us out for some cracking paddles over the past few weeks. It was very sad to say “adios”, but we’re hope to say “hola” again, soon!
Pictured below: Pablo, Iván Boto Joanna, and Hugo Escuela Asturiana de Surf Also thanks to hairy Hugo and Ricardo who had left before the camera came out and things got any louder! Read more…
5th June 2017
On Saturday we popped back to Riano for a paddle with Julie Phelan & Martin Shakeshaft Unfortunately the weather was crap, so no paddle done.
On Sunday the weather wasn’t any better so looked like a bust. Then Martin checked the weather and Monday looked like a possibility.
Superb conditions. Nice bit of sunshine, with a gentle tailwind blowing us back to the vans afterward. (It even got warm enough for me to take a dip!) Read more…
1st June 2017
Pablo describes this stretch of coastline as “if dragons existed, this is where they would live”. With the dramatic cliffs and sea caves you can understand what he means, but today in a fog that remained throughout our 3.5 hour paddle, it seemed even more likely.
We were out with Hugo (Escuela Asturiana de Surf) and some of his clients, as well as Iván who was trying out his new Red Paddle 14×25. (Todays’ conditions certainly made it very challenging on such a narrow board.)
After lunch Pablo and I hit the sea again for another couple of hours, Read more…