Five kayakers who have the distinction of breaking the cross-channel kayaking record gathered at Eton Dorney this week to celebrate their achievements.
The men, including Drew Samuel, who held the record from 1976-2005, former British canoe all-rounder Ian Tordoff (2005-7) and Great Britain sprint canoe coach Ian Wynne (2007-11) picked up awards for their feats in breaking the record.
Ian Tordoff managed the trek across the 24 mile route in 2005 in 3 hours 21 minutes and 54 seconds. Ian Wynne’s record, set in 2007, was 2 hours 59 minutes 06 seconds.
The current record, an astounding 2 hours 21 minutes, is currently held by sprint canoeist Paul Wycherley – who made the crossing last autumn, as reported by the BBC at the time.
Wycherley’s time isn’t much slower than those of the cross-Channel ferry, particularly when one factors in the delays that can be experienced at peak times.
Ian Tordoff, who works for Cheshire West and Chester Council, sponsors of his original Channel crossing, was in the GB team for 19 years and raced in almost every discipline apart from slalom. Ian Wynne is now one of the senior coaches in the GB canoe sprint team.
Chester First has a great article and photo of this week’s awards do.
Anyone who thinks the cross-Channel records are all done and dusted now they’ve been reduced to the near-unattainable by Olympic-level athletes should take heart. There’s another record which is still vaguely beatable – Cherbourg-Dover.
The only slight catch is that this crossing is 65 miles and the current record-holder is Mark Stocker – he made the crossing in 14 hours 25 minutes in 2005….but experienced bad weather and rough water so thinks that quite a bit could be shaved off his time. (He also did the crossing in a Prijon Barracuda, boats built for stability and comfort rather than speed). So, don’t be shy, step right this way!