The Eddystone Challenge Returns For 2023!

June 17/18 2023

This is an historic event which was set up by the Mayflower Offshore Rowing Club, here in Plymouth UK. The event ceased in 2012 for several reasons including the Increasing H&S restrictions and the modern scale of the event. The Eddystone Challenge was originally designed for rowers, however it had become an annual pastime within the sea kayak community. Sadly in 2019 the main event organiser and motivator, Jeff Hammond passed away and the Eddystone Challenge seemed like a distant memory!

Now, we are excited to partner with the Mayflower Offshore Rowing Club, to make this happen once again. A very similar event, but with a few modern tweaks.

This is open to Offshore Rowing Boats, Sea Kayaks, Surfskis, OC, SUP and Prone. Any performance orientated self propelled (Paddled/Rowed) craft. The Eddystone Challenge starts from a location in Plymouth Sound, to the Eddystone Rocks and back. The complete route is approximately 24nm/45km. The challenge will happen over a weekend and event organisers will pick the best day in which the conditions allow the challenge to run. Weather requirements for the race to go ahead are: F4 winds or below and eight NM (or more) visibility. If the weather is beyond remit, a course will be set, matching the distance upstream on the Tamar river which paddlers can decide whether or not they wish to participate. This challenge is a serious undertaking and please only enter if you have experience of covering these distances. The Eddystone is an undertaking in which participants could be seated in their boats for around seven hours straight. This is a challenge and not a race, if paddlers wish to set a good time, it will be recorded on a leader board, but, all participants will receive a completion gift. The after party will be legendary.

Structure

  • Participants will set off in 30 minute intervals depending on craft and depending on their submitted time for the 10NM GPS track.
  • Participants will have three and a half hours to reach the Eddystone. If this time is not met, paddlers will be directed to turn around (As stated in the terms and conditions)
  • Participants will pass a checkpoint on the way out (Adjacent to Penlee Point), before entering open water. If paddlers are not keeping pace and/or clearly in an uncomfortable state, they will be asked to stop.
  • All participants will carry a tracker
  • All participants are encouraged to paddle in a buddy system, pairs or more.

Entry requirements.

  • All participants will need to submit a GPX file / GPS track of them, in the craft which they plan to use. Over a ten mile course maintaining an average speed of over four knots. This GPS track must be excluding tidal assistance. For example, if someone submits a track with an average pace of 7kts, the wind and tidal assistance will need to be deducted. So, on submission of a time, the conditions; wind speed and direction and tidal stream summary will need to be included. With this in mind participants are asked to be smart when selecting their route/location.
  • Craft will need to be sea worthy and in a good state of repair
  • It is recommended that craft are suitable and have the appropriate level of stability- aiding competency within beam conditions, assisting rest stops and aiding the paddler, whilst tired having completed over five hours of open ocean paddling.
  • All participants will need to complete a health questionnaire and declare conditions which may affect their safety and other paddlers safety
  • All participants will need to sign a terms and conditions document and contract
  • All participants must carry safety gear inc- VHF, Phone, Smoke Flare, Whistle
  • All paddle craft operators must wear a PFD or life jacket, SUP paddlers can wear a bumbag inflatable.
  • Rowing boats must be carrying lifejackets for all participants
  • All participants must carry with them, a means to get warm, whether this means additional layering, survival bag, etc……
  • All particpants must be competent in self rescue: Ski’s- remount. Sea Kayak- Role. Rowing Boats- bail and remount.
  • Surfski, prone and SUP paddlers must wear leashes.
  • Sea Kayaks must have spray decks and water tight hatches/bulkheads, working skegs and carry a pump.
  • All participants must carry a means to hydrate and energise.
  • Participants must be able to engage in conversation based around bearings and tide tactics. Planning is recommended

Safety Cover

  • The course will be split into zones/sections. Each zone will be will be from 2 to 6nm in length, depending on line of sight.
  • Within each section there will be jetski marshalls and a larger boat.
  • Within the offshore sections, there will be a medic.
  • Radio contact will be maintained throughout the course.
  • Here in Plymouth we are lucky to have the RNLI inshore and offshore lifeboat, plus the Royal Navy, ready to mobilise, however, of course this would never be relied upon.

Cost

  • There will be a cost *TBC*
  • The entry fee will be non- refundable

These events are rare these days, we will endeavor to keep this event as affordable as possible. To do so we are keen to acquire sponsorship and donations. Please get in touch!!!