Thursday, September 15, 2011


So to the pub for a chat and a bit of a reality check - is this really possible, are we capable of organising it etc?

To be honest, both those questions seemed irrelevent. It was more a case of ignorant confidence. Of course we can organise it, and of course it's possible. The problem is, when we try to be as rational as possible, it seems like it ought to be easy. It's only 20 miles (in the busiest shipping lane on Earth) after all.

Anyway, as the pints were being supped, we came up with a list.

·         Safety boat
·         Best dates and times?
·         Expert on channel crossings
·         Advice from veterans
·         Nutrition
·         Van
·         Hotel
·         RNLI advice on crossing/support requirements
·         Speak to previous cross-channel kayakers about support boat, other requirements etc
·         Maritime & Coastguard Agency (based in Soton) for advice/guidance
·         What are the rules/laws/regulations governing cross-channel attempts?

·         Kayaking regularly (weekly inc through winter)
·         Someone to advise us e.g. personal trainer
·         Stamina
·         Strength
·         Kayak Club which uses Hounsdown School pool, for training?

·         Return crossing – Eurotunnel/ferries
·         Safety boat (£1,300?)
·         Facebook/Twitter/Blog
·         Corporate – HSBC, ESSO, Gill Technology, DHL
·         Kayak Manufacturers
·         Liquid Logistics for kit/training
·         Woodmill for kit/training
·         Van hire companies
·         Hotel companies
·         David Harrison (NFDC/T&ETC) – annual £10k funding allowance
·         Local pubs (fundraising)
·         John’s band – reunion or similar
·         Action Duchenne to provide support in terms of helping to organise sponsorship, forms, perhaps Just Giving page etc

What we need
·         Kayaks (durrr)
·         Food & drink
·         Channel crossing for return journey plus for wives etc
·         Support boat (£1,300??)
·         Van
·         Hotel accommodation
·         Time off work
·         Prizes for fundraising
·         Pubs to hold fundraising events
·         Training support
·         VHF radio
·         Flares etc
·         Advice on type of kayak – sea kayak or expedition sit-on
·         Life jackets/other kit

·         Facebook/Twitter/Blog (cross-publish on Facebook/Twitter)
·         Daily Echo (Sarah Jones)
·         BBC South/Radio Solent

Training plan
1.       Kayak Lymington –Yarmouth
2.       Kayak Hythe to Cowes/Yarmouth
3.       Kayak Eling to Cowes/Yarmouth

...and so on covering greater distances. Doing this over the winter will challenge stamina and strength against adverse weather etc

·         Write to previous cross-channel kayakers for advice on crossing rules/tips/barriers to break down etc (John)
·         Draft sponsorship letter (Charlie)
·         Ask Action Duchenne whether they have a Just Giving site (John)
·         Establish exact cross-channel regulations etc (Charlie)


So this is us "getting organised". It was quite a good effort I thought. Now we've just got to get on with it, which is likely to be the hard bit! Whilst we had little (no) doubt the crossing could be achieved, getting through this list of "things to do" was possibly going to be more challenging.

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