East of England Paddlesports: Circumnavigation around Mersea Island on a Mega SUP

East of England Paddlesports: Circumnavigation around Mersea Island on a Mega SUP

East of England Paddlesports is the largest British Canoeing affiliated online group with over 12k members, we aim to promote safe paddling and encourage grass roots paddling of all types in a safe and responsible way. Every year, we aim to raise money for a charity by doing something paddling related. Last year, we had huge success with our Paddle Run challenge where we raised money for Mind Charity with the members of our group participating in a paddling and running duathalon. This year, our chosen charity is the RNLI and the 4 admins of the group Oli Jordan, Andy Large, Jess Ashley and Matt Payne will look to circumnavigate around Mersea Island on a Mega SUP (an 8 person paddleboard) which equates to 14 miles!

mid circumnavigation on paddleboard

This event took place last Friday and overall it went a lot better than we thought it would. When people asked us how long we thought it would take to paddle around the island, we guessed maybe 6-7 hours but we did it in 4 hours and 42 minutes! With the weather we have been experiencing in the UK over the last few months, we have struggled to get our training in. Considering we had only managed to train twice on the Mega SUP, we are very pleased with how well we did.

paddleboard looking small alongside the island

The weather conditions we had were so bizarre! The days leading up to the challenge we had high winds and storms, so to our suprise we had a small window of opportunity to complete this challenge and the day we set ourselves looked promising with low winds. However, we did experience a mixture of weather conditions on the day from glorious sunshine, strong wind, torrential rain, hail to some thunder storms (luckily, we had just got off the water as the thunder and lightening started!) We waited on the Strood for the storm to pass, we watched the road flood and watched silly people in cars drive over the flooded road then proceeded to finish our challenge in sunshine.

the group celebrating the paddle

We were lucky enough to have a rescue boat follow us around to ensure we were safe throughout the challenge, so a special thanks to Water Tech for sticking with us even through that torrential rain!

A special thanks to NRS Europe for kitting us out for the challenge and of course to Quroc for the Mega SUP we used for the challenge!

And we were lucky enough for two amazing photographers to capture some awesome drone shots for us, so thank you Colm O’Laoi and Barry Scott!

So far, including our offline donations we have raised around £2,500 for the RNLI. If you wish to donate, we have set up a just giving page. We hugely appreciate any donations and they go to a good cause! www.justgiving.com/page/megasupchallenge23