Fastest Kayak Crossing of English Channel


Tordoff, a resident of Huntingdon in Chester, managed to shave an incredible 11 minutes from the old record of 3 hours and 33 minutes for crossing from Fokestone Beach to Wisant Beach in France, which had stood since 1976.


A delighted Tordoff was thrilled with his marathon feat. “To beat the old record has been an ambition of mine for many years,” he said. “Having competed at World level at Wild Water, Marathon and Sprint kayaking since the age of 16, there are not many challenges left for me in the kayak world.”


“I felt good from the start at 05:56 hours at Folkestone; it was not till the last hour that fatigue really made it start to hurt. The weather was good with just a force 2 blowing and we tried to time the attempt around the high tide. What did surprise me was the strength of current, which meant that despite steering a straight course we ended up covering over 40 kilometres for the 35 kilometre route.”


Tordoff’s’s attempt was sponsored by the Chester City Council (for whom he works as their Sports Development Officer), HBOS, Shell UK, and Valley Sea Kayaks. Tordoff worked with Valley to develop the new sea kayak he used in the crossing.


The small team who assisted Ian and made sure all the rules for this Guinness World Record attempt were adhered to included Andy King, Cross-Channel Boat Pilot, and Barry Frost, umpire from the British Triathlon Association.


As well as wanting to break the record Tordoff also saw this as an ideal opportunity to raise monies for the British Heart Foundation and is now collecting all the pledges in for the charity.

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  • tony ford

    can you give details of other “record” channel crossings in canoes and kayaks over the years – although not necessary record breaking, details of kayak and canoe crossings since 1867, when the first crossing by kayak was made

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