She’s done it! Lizzie Carr has become the first female in history to solo stand up paddle board across the English Channel.
Setting off from Dungeness in Kent, at 7.15am yesterday (Thursday,18 May) Lizzie paddled solidly for over seven hours to complete her epic and exhausting crossing, reaching Boulogne, France at 2.15pm (BST).
Lizzie is quite used to ‘firsts’ and last year became the first person in history to paddle board the entire 400-mile length of England’s waterways – solo and unsupported.
Commenting on completing the 24-mile crossing today, Lizzie explained: “I’m thrilled to have completed this challenge. It seems very surreal that I set off from England this morning and have arrived in France by the afternoon! I left Dungeness with two dolphins dancing round my board and finished in Bolougne with a sea lion staring me in the face – if that’s not the sign of a great day then I don’t know what is!
“Whilst I feel very proud of the achievement, the driving force for me has always been the bigger environmental story about plastic pollution in our oceans and creating as much awareness about this as I can.”
During today’s channel crossing Lizzie collected water samples for micro plastic analysis and will be working closely with Plymouth University to analyse and compile the results to build on the links between the big pieces of plastic we see every day, and the detrimental impact of what this results in – micro plastics – and the journey it takes from inland to the ocean.
The work is part of Lizzie’s #PlasticPatrol initiative, designed to help combat the global plastic crisis and highlight how a staggering 80% of marine debris comes from an inland sources.
Next month, Lizzie will be galvanising the people of the UK to join her in her campaign and assist her in a series of stand up paddle boarding clean ups around the UK http://www.plasticpatrol.co.uk/get-involved/ and the #PlasticPatrol app (available on IOS from today) will enable people to share their own findings into a global mapping system – the first of its kind.
Still can't believe I PADDLE BOARDED TO FRANCE yesterday. So, so surreal. Aside from how I'm feeling and how plastic plotting went, the other question I have been asked several times is whether I fell in. Sorry to disappoint you but I (somehow) managed to stay on my board. Even so, here's one of the many close encounters I had with the water! 🌊