Sam Lutman-Pauc takes the World Record for Crossing the Channel!

Suunto English Channel Speed Crossing

On Thursday 18th October, Sam Lutman-Pauc successfully kitesurfed across the English Channel from Dungeness, Kent to Wissant, France in 1hr51’34.7 setting a new World Record time.

We asked Sam to gives us a rundown of his adventure and successful record attempt!

Sam's impressive GPS from the crossing!

“Pulling up at the life boat station at Dungeness, the first thing that struck me was just how remote a location this is, a baron expanse of shingle scattered with deserted and rotting fishing huts. Dungeness has a very strange feel to it, it’s pretty lifeless and with a heavy grey sky hanging above us it made for quite a dramatic start to the crossing. The wind was with us though and that’s the main thing. A steady 20knots cross-shore. I had taken the decision to go big with an 11m kite, yes I could get over powered in the middle of the Channel but if I wanted to get back again I knew I needed a bigger kite as the wind was forecast to drop off in 2hours.

Rigging up on the beach was quick, a process I could now do blindfolded. At 11.55am I was hugging my wife and saying ‘see you soon, don’t worry!’ Hitting the water my Suunto Ambit (GPS watch) was started at 11:59am and with 20knots blowing strong I was off at speed and cruising in the wake of the support boat at 20knots. The first half of the crossing was textbook, steady wind; moderate sea conditions and the sun had started to break through the cloud. These conditions weren’t set to stay with us long though. Ten miles off the UK coast and the sea had now changed. Three to four metre swell rolled through the Channel and both the support boat and I had slowed our speed to deal with the conditions. These were without a doubt some of the biggest conditions I’ve kited in here in the UK, at times I was literally surfing down the face of 3m waves. Yet despite the big sea, we made good progress and without warning, Will, the Skipper of the support boat shouted over that we were on track to hit France in 1hr35min.

Sam with the kite he used for the crossing, The CrazyFly Scalp!

It’s amazing how you can go from feeling totally elated to totally crushed. The second announcement Will made was a huge shock. ‘Sam, we’ve got to slow down. You have to give way to the tanker approaching from our starboard side’. Tanker, seriously, this was a floating city. A huge vessel that was ploughing through the Channel at 20knots, the same speed as us, if we didn’t stop then a collision was imminent and I doubt the tanker would even notice us. Nothing to do but to sit back and wait for the tanker to pass. Ten minutes seemed like half an hour as I sat with the kite above my head and bobbed about in the huge swell. By the time the vessel had passed we had drifted off course down wind in a 4knot tide and with a dropping wind I had little chance of hitting France at The Cap.

Sam at the beach with his trusty board!

As the wind continued to drop it was everything I had to work the kite to keep going and hold a straight line. By this time, we had missed The Cap and instead were heading for the cliffs at Wissant beach. 1 hour and 45 minutes in to the crossing the French coastline was in touching point and whilst well off track the World Record was well within my grasp. Six minutes later and the GPS time was stopped as I hit Wissant Beach and my kite dropped out of the sky and with only 5-10knots of wind blowing a return crossing was out of the question.

Still, you’ve got to be happy with one World Record and despite the poor conditions and hold up, I managed to take 27 minutes off the old record set by Sam Branson in July 2012.”

Check out Sam’s facebook page and website for more information:

Check out this cool edit featuring Leleo the 10 year old ripper from Brazil riding with his buddy Jerome, expect big things in the future from this pint sized...

2 weeks ago

It looks like the coolest move in kitesurfing just got cooler, Toby Braeuer continues to amaze with this new twist, just a casual front roll landing darkside i...

6 days ago

This is what kite movies should be like, amazing edit, great soundtrack and riding that looks sublime. Hats off to Forest Bakker, Alvaro Onieva and Maxi Gomez...

2 days ago

Lets all just take a moment to be thankful that summer is on the way in the Northern hemisphere... Alex Arseneault and Antoine Fafard head out for a chilly on...

1 day ago

Ever since she learned to kitesurf Delphine Macaire has been desperate to go to Zanzibar! The bad news is that after watching this video you'll want to go too!...

1 week ago
Kitesurfing and Kiteboarding Magazine Online and Free

IKSURFMAG is a free international online kitesurfing and kiteboarding magazine that focuses on all aspects of kitesurfing. It is published every 2 months and is completely free to read. This free online kitesurfing magazine is the most successful online kitesurfing magazine of its kind. With readers in over 150 countries round the world it is the only kitesurfing magazine to achieve a true global status.

Each free issue of IKSURFMAG comes packed full of articles about the sport of kitesurfing and kiteboarding. Regular features include our very popular video technique section with moves for beginners intermediates and experts alike. Add to that a mix of kitesurfing news, travel and interviews from around the globe and you have everything you will ever need to keep you up to date with kitesurfing.

IKSURFMAG is the world's number one online kitesurfing and kiteboarding magazine. IKSURFMAG is FREE to read and published 6 times a year by Next Element Ltd.

Total Page Flicks 114,100,081