Irish Sea - North Channel

Route Distance: ~19 nm / 35.2 km
Prevailing direction: W >> E
Record: 2020 - 03:10:58
Solo: 15
Team: 16


David Horkan
John Willacy
Tadhg De Barra
Barry Shaw
John Chamberlin
Robin Rhodes

Image: North Channel Crossing GPS Track

This route is the shortest crossing of the Irish Sea, on a clear day the destination can be seen for the whole trip. But don't take this route for granted, the complicated tidal flows around the Copeland Islands can make for a few nervous moments, as can the the shipping traffic transiting in or out of the Irish Sea.

Crossing: Irish Sea - North Channel


Click column header to sort.
1K1MDavid Horkan03:10:5803-Sep-20DonaghadeePortpatrickRockpool Taran 18
2K1MJohn Willacy03:25:2826-Mar-11PortpatrickDonaghadeeRockpool Taran 18
3K1MBrian Turnbull03:40:2507-Aug-15PortpatrickDonaghadeeRockpool Taran 18
4K1MBrian Turnbull03:49:1508-Aug-15DonaghadeePortpatrickRockpool Taran 18
5K1MDavid Horkan03:51:4330-Aug-15DonaghadeePortpatrickZegul Sea Rocket
6K1MTadhg De Barra04:09:0016-Jul-10DonaghadeePortpatrickKirton C-Trek
7(1)K1WCatriona Woods04:28:0015-Aug-17DonaghadeePortpatrickRockpool Tarantella
8K1MJohn Willacy04:29:5426-Mar-11DonaghadeePortpatrickRockpool Taran 18
9(2)K1WCatriona Woods04:36:0419-Sep-15DonaghadeePortpatrickValley Nordkapp LV
10(3)K1WCatriona Woods04:42:0430-Aug-15DonaghadeePortpatrickValley Nordkapp LV
11(4)K1WCatriona Woods04:53:0005-Jun-13DonaghadeePortpatrickValley Nordkapp LV
12(5)K1WCatriona Woods04:54:0023-May-19DonaghadeePortpatrickRockpool Tarantella
13K1MBarry Shaw05:40:0002-Apr-05PortpatrickLarneSKUK Romany
14K1MJohn Willacy07:52:5917-Apr-12LarneDunaverty BayRockpool Taran 18

14 solo paddlers

+ Solo Various

Click column header to sort.
--K1MMike Conroy05:33:0701-Jun-2023PortpatrickGreat Copeland IslandYes

1 solo paddler


Click column header to sort.
1K2Jessie Brown /
Will Brown

2K2Patrick Anderson /
Ben Tolhurst
03:57:2908-Aug-22DonaghadeePortpatrickSeabird Nord L2

3TeamIan Kavanagh
Jim Kehoe
04:22:3926-Jun-2023DonaghadeePortpatrickPure Composites Garrarus
Pure Composites Garrarus
4TeamWill Brown
Gary McClure
04:25:0204-Jun-17BallywalterPortpatrickRockpool Taran 18
5K2Patrick Anderson /
Ben Tolhurst
~04:30:0007-Aug-22DonaghadeePortpatrickSeabird Nord L2

6TeamCatriona Woods
Patrick Woods
Elaine Alexander
Desi Law
05:04:0004-Jun-17BallywalterPortpatrickRockpool Tarantella
Rockpool Tarantella
7TeamPaul Deering
Brian Deering
05:05:5928-Aug-21DonaghadeePortpatrickVenture Easky 17
Venture Easky 17
8TeamCathal Bagnall
Catriona Woods
05:30:3218-Jun-16DonaghadeePortpatrickMega ?
9TeamJulian Haines
Emer O'Boyle
05:36:2914-Aug-2023DonaghadeePortpatrickValley Nordkapp Forti
NDK Lattitude
10TeamJulian Haines
Emer O'Boyle
06:06:5916-Aug-2023PortpatrickDonaghadeeValley Nordkapp Forti
NDK Lattitude
11TeamJoanne Campbell
Stephen Campbell
Mark Lindsay
A. McClenaghan
H. LLoyd
Terry McQueen
Robert Montgomery
06:30:0530-Aug-20DonaghadeePortpatrickP+H Scorpio LV
P+H Quest LV
Valley Aquanaut LV
Self-built Double

Valley Avocet

12TeamJohn Chamberlin
Robin Rhodes
06:36:0719-Aug-86LarnePortpatrickP+H Iceflow
Trylon Sea Hawk
13TeamJonny Eldridge
Chris Withers
07:32:0023-May-12PortpatrickLarneRockpool Alaw
Valley Nordkapp
14TeamRichard Harpham
Ollie Jay
07:45:0009-Sep-10Port Ellen
Bull Bay
Rathlin Island
Prijon ?
Prijon ?
15TeamMartin McClenaghan
Francie Ross
Stephen Smith
John Vance
10:00:0027-Sep-13Ballintoy HarbourPorth Ellen
Valley Avocet RM
Valley Avocet RM
P+H Capella RM
16TeamPhil Clegg
Barry Shaw
Harry Whelan
2005Mull of Kintyre?SKUK Explorer
SKUK Explorer

16 Teams -- 42 Paddlers


Phil Clegg / Barry Shaw / Harry Whelan (2005)
Part of GB Circumnavigation

Mike Conroy (01-Jun-2023)
Ended crossing on Great Copleand Island.

Richard Harpham / Ollie Jay (09-Sep-10)
Richard and Ollie continued on to complete the crossing, to land on the 'mainland' at Ballycastle the following morning. Paddling as part of the 'Big 5 Challenge'.

Brian Turnbull (07-Aug-15)
From Brian:"This was a fantastic day, flat seas if anything a bit hot for the job. Set off with the boiler room working well and on a preplanned course to find my pace was greater than anticipated so a bit of seat of the pants navigation to alter course thinking I was on a better line.....mistake! and lesson the calculations! Anyway I ended up covering over 37 km which sort of spoiled what would have been a cracking time, very happy to find a chip shop right next to the steps in Donaghadee though!"

Brian Turnbull (08-Aug-15)
Return Journey 8th August - From Brian:"Overnight bivvy in a grassy hollow to the North of Donaghadee and I woke feeling enthusiastic and eager to go. This was a sail assisted crossing and it was my plan to make the whole crossing with the sail deployed however, the wind had other plans! things all got a bit hectic 2/3 rds over and managing a sail and trying to paddle efficiently with a wind blowing stronger and from a different direction from forecast meant it had to be tucked away! So it was down to paddle power for the last hour and a bit of course recovery into wind and tide, job done though."

John Willacy (26-Mar-11)
Paddled the return journey later the same day.

John Willacy (17-Apr-12)
Day 5 of GB Circumnavigation

Catriona Woods (05-Jun-13)
Catriona's attempt is possibly the first for a solo female crossing.


Crossing: Irish Sea - North Channel

Solo paddlers: 15
Team paddlers: 42
Teams: 16

Recorded Start Points:
    • Ballintoy Harbour (1)
    • Ballywalter (2)
    • Donaghadee (18)
    • Larne (2)
    • Port Ellen, Islay (1)
    • Portpatrick (6)

How To Submit A Time/Paddle.