Simon's SAS cross-Channel SUP challenge

Duncan Slater
Simon Bassett, right in shot
Simon Bassett, right in shot

Simon Bassett, owner of 2XS and X-Train is crossing the English Channel on a paddleboard to raise money for Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).

The crossing is from Dover to Calais (dodging the ferries) and is set to be on the day between 18th and 25th June that has the best tide and weather conditions in which to make the 21-mile crossing. The crossing should take around 5 hours and if the paddlers are successful they will be the first ever SUP team to have ever crossed the English Channel.

Simon will be joined by 4 other paddlers: Elliot Dudley (UK longboard champ), who is going for the outright distance world record, his team mate, Matt Argyle (BSUPA chairman and ranked no 2 BSUPA WAVE champ), Jock Patterson (UK BSUPA overall champ) and Claire Blacklock (BSUPA ladies champ). Both relay teams are going for the relay distance record.

They could also potentially break the record for the fastest channel crossing too: The Guinness World Record™ for crossing the English Channel by prone paddleboard currently stands at five hours and nine minutes, and was set by US paddler by Michael O’Shaughnessy in 2006.

Simon will be using a 14 ft Bark expedition board with support from www.2xs.co.uk, X-train, Prosport Sunscreen, DaKine, NPX westuits and Kialoa paddles – you will be able to see updates on www.supglobal.com and the 2xs site. Bigsalty.co.uk will also be supporting the crossing.

The event has been put together by SAS with the support of BSUPA, and the paddlers aim to raise at least £10,000 in sponsorship money to support SAS’s campaigns to protect surfers and waveriders, waves and beaches around the UK.

Simon is currently beasting himself with plenty of gym work and a personal trainer. He has also just returned from Maui where Laird Hamilton gave him some advice.

Simon: “After my recent trip to Maui extented by the volcano and cancelled flights had a month of windsurfing every day and downwinders on a SUP. Training for the Channel crossing is still on target the new bark 14 ft expedition has just arrived and have been out testing the beast. Have been checking out some fin options for the board to see what the fastest combination will be.

“While I was on Maui we met up with Laird Hamilton at the Oxbow clothing launch in Neil Prydes store. We had a chat about the channel crossing- and he told me he took 7 hours to do the crossing after he ran from London – then cycled to Paris – his parting comments was to watch out for the tankers and ferries. Laird seems a real nice guy and had plenty of time to talk to loads of people at the Oxbow launch in Maui.

DaKine have delivered me a whole pile of new SUP leashes paddle covers rashies will get the go pro attached to the board soon so look out for the video footage.”

Please support Simon’s cause by sponsoring him at his Just Giving page.

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