Paddleboarders 'confident' of Channel crossing bid

Paddleboarder Matt Argyle Matt Argyle said he had been paddling six times a week ahead of the attempt

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The leader of a paddleboarding team which aims to be the first to cross the Channel is confident they have prepared properly for their record attempt.

Matt Argyle, 37, of Bracklesham, West Sussex, said he was paddling six times a week to get himself ready.

The four men and one woman are hoping to break the world record for the fastest stand-up paddleboard crossing.

The current record is held by an American who crossed the Channel in five hours and nine minutes in 2006.

Their attempt to beat that and become the first team to cross the Channel is due to take place between 18 and 25 June, depending on the weather and tidal conditions.

Mr Argyle, who works as an e-learning manager at the University of Chichester, said: "I am now very close to the crossing, and I hope that the training and support that the University of Chichester has given me will pay off.

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Crossing one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world is the bit that worries me”

End Quote Matt Argyle Paddleboard team leader

"May was the start of the stand-up paddle race season in the UK - I have managed to get two third places in the national series so far so I am feeling fit and confident that I am ready to go."

He added: "Crossing one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world is the bit that worries me.

"We have a support boat which normally escorts cross channel swimmers over to act as our pilot which should mean we do not get run down, so let's hope his radar is working."

"I am currently training six times a week, mostly in the water paddling between Selsey and West Wittering depending upon the wind conditions."

The other team members are the UK women's stand-up paddleboard champion Claire Blacklock, 37, from Chichester, BSUPA head coach Simon Bassett, 44, from Itchenor, West Sussex, longboarding champion Elliot Dudley, 24, from Cardiff and UK stand-up paddleboarding champion Jock Patterson, 51, from Brighton.

Stand-up paddleboarding is a form of surfing. Rather than lying out on their boards, enthusiasts stand upright and use a paddle.

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