LAIRD HAMILTON’S ENGLISH CROSSING
The extreme surfer, Laird Hamilton, proved his sporting ability once again, with the undertaking of one of his most testing challenges to date. Laird, who is sponsored by Oxbow, travelled 425 kilometres from London to Paris using just a push-bike and a surfboard, in order to raise money for a non-profit film about healing autism.
Laird’s journey began in central London at the crack of dawn. From here he peddled 148 kilometres to Dover, through villages and towns, in strong rain for 5 ½ hours. Laird said “The rain slowed me down and it was rather cold at the beginning of the ride. But with the physical effort I needed, I warmed up fast.”
After a one and a half hour rest for food in Dover, Laird Hamilton began the crossing of the English Channel in stormy conditions on his own signature board and paddle. The crossing was 43 kilometres long and took six strenuous hours on top of the biking leg of the trip. Laird said, “I started in stormy and rough conditions. The English Channel also has a lot of traffic. There are a lot of ships coming from every direction. I also met a big storm in the middle of the crossing and that slowed me down, as well I faced front winds. So I think I lost about one hour on the initial time.”
Tired but not exhausted, Laird Hamilton, whose physical endurance is amazing, took up his bike the next day and set off to cycle the 235 kilometres between Le Touquet and Paris. He completed this final leg of his marathon challenge in 8 ½ hours: “A short sleep and I was ready to go. I felt physically and mentally good except for some pain in my left knee. To ride into Paris and arrive at the Arc de Triumph was satisfying despite the rain. I was very happy to be there and accomplish the goal I had set out to do. It confirmed to me that we could all do much more in life than we think we can. No matter who you are and what you do; you can do more than you think you can.”
Laird’s crossing was done in aid of a non-profit film about healing autism. ‘Beautiful Son’ is being directed by his friend Don King, a world class cinematographer, who after having filmed Laird on some of the biggest and best waves in the world, faces another challenge: helping heal autism, and his autistic son, Beau. Donations can be made on the website www.beautifulson.com.
- 29 may London – Dover – pedaling – 130 km
Dover – Cap Gris Nez – paddling – 35 km
- 30 may Boulogne sur Mer – Paris –pedalling- 260 km
Total – 425 km