The Giant's Crossing
My name is Al Mennie. I am a surfer from Northern Ireland. I have spent a lot of time riding some of the planets biggest and scariest waves. My next challenge is a little different!
I plan to paddle a surfboard across a very unique stretch of water at the end of March beginning of April 2012. It will be the northernmost crossing of its type in the world. I will have to deal with freezing cold temperatures, large open ocean swell, potentially high winds and the deadly currents around a well known navigational hazard of a North Atlantic Island. I will be on my own except for a support boat carrying food and water for me. A large part of the journey will take place in the dark due to the lack of daylight at that time of year. This adds yet another adventurous element to the project (wouldn't want it to be too easy!)
I will be crossing between the famous landmark of The Giants Causeway to the Scottish Island of Islay. The journey is 25 miles. I chose this route because the distance matches one of the crossings the Hawaiians do in sun cream and board shorts. I will be wearing a 6mm wetsuit and crossing the most dangerous stretch of water around the Irish coastline known for its extremely deadly currents as the Irish Sea tides drain between Rathlin Island and Northern Ireland. Lots of ships have been lost on this stretch including the Spanish Armadas Gold Ship, The Girona. Richard Bransons hot air balloon got into difficult here in the 1990’s and both crew members were thrown into the deadly currents only to be rescued by locals.
Below displays the route I plan to take for the crossing
I am asking the public to donate money to Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke. My Dad died suddenly of a heart attack aged 50 and I know lots of people who have also lost loved ones to heart problems too so I really want to help make a difference by raising money for this charity.
I am really lucky to have great sponsors and partners to help me with my challenge. They include... Surftech paddle boards who are helping me with specific equipment to make the crossing, Chasers Surf Tours who are providing safety cover and boat support for me, Future Fins, Gecko Headgear and Bunk Campers. I still need some other equipment and supplies so if anyone businesses wish to support me with any of the following I would greatly appreciate it.
Navigation equipment (It will be dark for part of the crossing and no doubt visibililty will be poor during daylight hours).
Energy supplies and supplements.
Warm weather gear for my crew and I. There will be 4 crew members supporting me on The Chasers Surf Tours boat and they all need to stay warm too.
A volunteer paramedic
Please email me if your company can help supply any of the above firstname.lastname@example.org