FIRST PERSON TO STAND UP PADDLE FROM THE UK TO FRANCE … AND BACK!
Samantha Rutt will soon be embarking on her immense SUP journey, in aid of raising funds for a charity close to her heart.
Samantha Says – “The week starting the 31st August I am going to be the first person to ever attempt to paddle the English Channel and to make the return journey back to the UK on a stand-up paddle board. It seemed like a great idea after a glass of wine and watching Ross Edgley finish his swim around the UK. I’ve always wanted to do a ‘first’ of some sort…I was the first woman to cross the Wash unassisted in 2018 but that was only 25kms and although it’s one of the UK’s most challenging bodies of water I felt like I needed to do something a bit more adventurous and the logical thing was right on my doorstep…why not paddle to France and back. I had to do the paddle back as several people have already paddled from the UK to France so my hand was kind of pushed into taking it that one step further.
So on the week of the 31st August I will attempt to paddle between 80-90kms in under 12hrs on my trusty 14′ Starboard Allstar, I will have a week’s weather window and we will pick the best day to go the weekend before. My launch point is Dungeness and I will track across to Boulogne sur Mer. It’s not a straight line when you paddle due to the pull of the tide, it takes you up towards Calais then pushes you down towards Boulogne sur Mer so that’s what adds the extra distance. My aim is as soon as I hit France to turn around and paddle a further 5kms before stopping as mentally the turning point will be quite hard so taking that initial step back to the UK is more for my mental resilience. I have full boat support for the journey provided by Captain Will at Full Throttle Boat Charters. This channel is the busiest shipping lane in the world, so I need somebody to be in communication with the huge vessels to tell me when to wait and go as they can take up to 2 miles to stop… I am not sure they will stop from me! My husband Steve will also be on the support boat, organising all my nutrition as we have to have a plan on how much fuel to take on for such a journey I have tried lots but Tailwind Nutrition have helped me get the right fuel. I will be using Paddle Logger as my live tracker as this maps my journey so I can brag about it in the group afterwards ha-ha. I have a plan for my mental health as well…every 10kms I have a treat in the boat ranging from ice cold face cloths, peanut butter and banana sandwiches to motivation messages from friends and family to keep me going when it gets tough. I have been lucky enough to of been a Starboard Team rider for the last two years and am so proud to be a part of such a wonderful family of athletes and people willing to help me from racing to adventure paddles.
In 2019 I was diagnosed with Complex PTSD and while I am one of the lucky ones not so many people have the support that I do. So, my challenge is to raise awareness not only for PTSD but for mental health in general as so many people are affected by it, which is why I am so passionate to be supporting the charity Blackdog Outdoors. A fellow Starboard Ambassador Stacey Smithson-Grey put me in touch with them. They are a completely volunteer charity whose drive is to get people out on paddleboards, hiking, climbing in and around nature to help with mental health all proceeds go directly to funding equipment to provide people with a lifeline to the outdoors.”
Donate to Samantha’s fundraiser here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/samantharuttoceanadventure
More about Black Dog Outdoors charity: https://www.blackdogoutdoors.co.uk
Follow her Journey: https://www.facebook.com/samantharuttoceanadventure
Samantha’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/samantharuttsup/?hl=en
For any further information, please contact Jaz at 01803 712140 or email email@example.com