PSK Uniques

Rather than leaving them scattered in a somewhat lonely manner across the PSK site, this page brings together various impressive exploits for inspiration and recognition. The common theme is that they have only been completed the once (from the PSK point of view). This may be because the sheer scale of the challenge, it may be down to a specific route or method, or it just may be that we've not heard yet of other attempts. Either way, impressive and inspiring paddling exploits abound...

Once a route has multiple entries then it is given a separate page.

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PSK Uniques

26 items

Isle of Man - Walney Extension

George Shaw
Daniel Shimmin
Cat:  Team


Start Point: Laxey
Finish Point: Laxey
Distance: 65 km
Elapsed Time:  08:57:09
Start Date: 29-Apr-22
Finish Date: 29-Apr-22
Boats: Rockpool Taran , Rockpool Taran , ,

An unusual course this one, a paddle out from Laxey on the Isle of Man to the wind turbines visible from the island - the nearest of which are part of the Walney Extension Wind Farm. A round trip of 65 km with no option to land! Good one.

Loch Ness - End to End

John Willacy

River Shannon Descent

Shane Young
Cat:  K1M


Start Point: Dowra
Finish Point: Limerick
Distance: 235 km
Elapsed Time:  41:19:12
Start Date: 28-Oct-21
Finish Date: 29-Oct-21
Boats: Rockpool Taran , , ,

Solo and unsupported. From Shane: "It is a combination of river, canal and lake paddling. Start is in a town called Dowra and finish is opposite King John's Castle in Limerick. There are 3 substantial loughs in it meaning it is more of a sea kayaking challenge than K1 boat trip. It necessitates quite a bit of planning with regards to weather and flow. The lack of navigational lights along the way makes it more challenging also. As I was solo and unsupported the boat ended up being quite heavy and I had real fun trying to get it around the few lock gates I had to." For PSK purposes the start line is the bridge in Dowra and the finish line is as you pass the Treaty Stone in Limerick.

Bristol Channel Loop

Eurion Brown
Cat:  K1M


Start Point: Llantwit Major
Finish Point: Llantwit Major
Distance: 126 km
Elapsed Time:  2 days
Start Date: 20-Jul-20
Finish Date: 21-Jul-20
Boats: P+H Cetus HV , , ,

From Eurion: "A South Wales Loop challenge based on the Bristol Channel. The Bristol Channel Loop Challenge The challenge must be completed in this order. Leg 1 Llantwit Major to Heddon's Mouth: Diagonal tide planning (and overfall avoidance). Leg 2 Heddon's Mouth to 3 Cliffs Bay : Cross tide planning, (and overfall avoidance). Leg 3 3 Cliffs Bay to Llantwit Major: With tide planning (sandbank and overfall avoidance). Start and endpoint: Llantwit Major- because there is a easy public car park and access to the water. This challenge seems to have a lot to offer in that it requires good tidal trip planning, endurance, ability to overnight (if desired or not!) and two elements of competitiveness. What I think would make this really interesting is if there is a time log for each of the individual leg times, but also the overall trip duration from leaving Llantwit Major until the return. This makes it interesting from the perspective of do you or don't you stop at the end of each leg, all based on the tides and how they coincide with the duration of each leg and how tired you are!

I've just completed this as a personal challenge in all the aspects I set my self - the planning journey, putting the plan into action (and learning that the tides information for this sort of trip was a bit hit and miss due to there being not enough diamonds, requiring a bit of on the water adjustments), and the endurance decision of not stopping for my intended second night because I made a crossing that left the tides still favourable to finish the third leg on the same day as the second. This is what made me think that this could be a really interesting challenge to put on the PSK site.

68.1Nm (126.1 km) Total time paddled: 14hrs 31mins Total round trip duration: 34hrs 47mins Average trip paddle speed: 4.7 knots (8.7km/h)

Day 1: Llantwit Major to Heddon's Mouth. Paddle distance: 19.4Nm (35.9km) Paddle time: 3hrs 44mins Max speed: 6.74 knots (12.5km/h) Average speed: 5.18 knots (9.6km/h)

Day 2 leg 1: Heddon's Mouth to Three Cliffs Bay Paddle distance: 23.0Nm (42.6km) Paddle time: 5hrs 45mins Max speed: 5.74 knots (10.6km/h) Average speed: 3.99 knots (7.4km/h

) Day 2 leg 2: Three Cliffs Bay to Llantwit Major Paddle distance: 25.7Nm (47.6) Paddle time: 4hrs 56mins Max speed: 7.48 knots (13.9km/h) Average speed: 5.3 knots (9.8km/h)"

South Scotland Loop

Jack Victor Gatacre
Cat:  K1M


Start Point: Pittenweem
Finish Point: Pittenweem
Distance: ~450 nm
Elapsed Time:  15 days
Start Date: 01-Aug-20
Finish Date: 15-Aug-20
Boats: Rockpool Taran , , ,

A loop starting on the Fife coast, going CW via the Crinnan and Caledonian canals to return to Pittenweem.

Days ranged from 3 hours to 13 hours, I usually started at 5.30/6am, and the latest I finished was 9.45pm, wind ranged from calm to force 7/8, weather ranged from heavy rain, to sun, to cloud to fog with 100 ft visibility. Such a beautiful variety of scenery. So far almost 10,000 pounds raised for Fishermens Mission.

The longest day was 60 miles, from Falkirk to Port Bannatyne, Bute. Highlights included, reaching Bute, surviving the Tarbert crossing, passing the Atlantic Bridge, Lismore Island, fast narrows near Fort William (got up to 10mph for a bit), seeing snow on Ben Nevis from Loch Lochy, crossing Loch Ness, passing the remote Morayshire coast, welcomes in Collieston and the Aberdeenshire villages, and finally the 20 mile crossing from Arbroath to Kingsbarns, Fife, as well as being welcomed in to Pittenweem by a couple of fishing boats. The trip was amazing!!

1 - 33 miles: Pittenweem - South Queensferry
2 - 22 miles - Falkirk
3 - 60 miles - Port Bannatyne, Bute
4 - 25 miles - Lochgilphead
5 - 55 miles - Fort William
6 - 33 miles - Fort Augustus
7 - 22 miles - Inverness
8 - 12 miles - Rosemarie
9 - 38 miles - Lossiemouth
10 - 42 miles - Pennan
11 - 44 miles - Collieston bay
12 - rest day
13 - 40 miles - Inverbervie
14 - 43 miles - Kingsbarns, Fife
15 - 11 miles - Pittenweem "

Gotland Circumnavigation

Jörgen Kard
Cat:  K1M


Start Point: Visby
Finish Point: Visby
Distance: ~300km
Elapsed Time:  47:59:30
Start Date: 12-Jul-19
Finish Date: 13-Jul-19
Escort Boat: uv
Boats: World of Kayaks WK525 , , ,

From Jörgen: "I paddled around Gotland (Swedens largest island) , it's 300km and my goal was to do it under 48h and I did it on 47,59,30 :)"

John O'Groats to Muckle Flugga

Mark Rainsley
Lizzie Garnett
Cat:  K2


Start Point: John O'Groats
Finish Point: Muckle Flugga
Distance: 253+ nm
Elapsed Time:  16 days
Start Date: 25-Jul-19
Finish Date: 2019
Escort Boat: Ferry
Boats: Valley Aleut , , ,

From Mark Rainsley:"A few numbers from our trip between John O'Groats and Muckle Flugga... 2 paddlers (1 male, 1 female), 1 double kayak, 4 mph on a good day, 16 days from start to completion, 13 paddling days (from 1.5 to 10.5 hours on the water), 3 lazy off-the-water days, Countless noodles eaten, 1 gale, 5 broken tent poles (out of 5), 280+ miles covered, 253+ miles paddled, 5 serious-ish open crossings made, 1 ferry trip of 27 miles - Fair Isle to Shetland, Shortest day - c5 miles, Longest day - c44 miles (open crossing from North Ronaldsay to Fair Isle, made interesting/ lengthy by crazy tides), 1 large oil tanker, 4+ otter encounters, 1-2 minke whales, 1 pod of Rissos dolphins, c6 porpoises, Countless puffins, on every day ...ditto, gannets, skuas, seals etc, Four ferries, one flight, one lift, two van journeys, one taxi, three buses, four flatbed trucks and one hire car required to get back home to Southern England, Etc etc..."

Lower Bann Trail

Andrew Corner
Lyndsay McPhee

The Westhinder Challenge

Santi Dominguez
Carlos Garcia
Dimitri Vandepoele
Cat:  Team


Start Point: Oostduinkerke Beach, Belgium
Finish Point: 
Distance: 76.5 km
Elapsed Time:  13:15:00
Start Date: 07-Jul-17
Finish Date: 07-Jul-17
Boats: Goltziana Marlin , Tiderace Explore MV , P+H Cetus MV ,

Dimitri's Article: "We are always looking for a good challenge, preferably one that takes us offshore. If you look at the Belgian part of the North Sea, there are no islands that you can paddle to (with the exception of the North Sea crossing to the UK). We have to do it with our buoys, navigation marks and towers. Yes, there are towers located in the Southern part of the North Sea. Two of them are drawing our attention. The first, and closest one, is the Oostdyck radar tower. When visibility is extremely well, it can be seen from the beach without binoculars. The radar sends all shipping movements to the Traffic Centre for monitoring. This tower is located some 21 kilometres offshore.

What cannot be seen from ashore is the second tower located at the Westhinder sandbank. This one lies just behind the international shipping lane, one of the busiest in the world. The Westhinder beacon warns ships for the danger of the sandbank beneath. It also monitors the force of the wind and direction, which is important for the weather forecasts for this area. This tower is located some 32 kilometres offshore. Read More..."

Infinity Loop

Norbert Ziober
Cat:  K1M


Start Point: Loch Tarbert, Jura
Finish Point: 
Distance: 66 nm
Elapsed Time:  18:02:39
Start Date: 29-May-16
Finish Date: 29-May-16
Boats: Rockpool Taran , , ,

A combined circumnavigation of Scarba and Jura in one trip. This is a serious undertaking by Norbert Ziober, and we suspect a true first. This paddle is not only noteable for it's length but also that it requires two passages through the Gulf of Corryvreckan - good planning and good timing are required, as well as a good pair of shoulders to make the distance of course.

Greenland To Scotland

George Bullard
Olly Hicks
Cat:  K2M


Start Point: Pack ice, Greenland
Finish Point: Balnakeil Bay, Durness
Distance: c. 1,200 nm
Elapsed Time:  66 days
Start Date: 01-Jul-16
Finish Date: 04-Sep-16
Boats: Inuk Duo , , ,

Distance c. 1,200 NM. Duration: 66 days Boat: Modified Inuk Duo 7.4m Unsupported. Used Sails. Following Patrick Winterton & Olly Hicks Shetland Bus crossing in 2013, soon after Patrick came across the book 'Searching for the Finnmen' which explores the theory that the Inuit might have made it to Scotland by kayak in the 18th Century. Intrigued by the idea the pair set about making the journey to paddle from Greenland to Scotland to prove it could have been done - albeit they were going to use modern kit and equipment. So whilst it would not prove the journey it would certainly add fuel to the story. In the end Patrick's family circumstances prevented him from going on the journey and George Bullard became Olly's teammate.

After being delivered by yacht on the 1st July they set off in the pack ice about 50miles off the east coast of Greenland, in the narrowest part of the Denmark Strait and paddled back to Iceland. This journey of 140 miles was accomplished very quickly in reasonably benign conditions, except for the sea fog and a light gale on the approach to Hornvik bay in NW Iceland. They crossed in c.43hrs.

Then they paddled around the North of Iceland heading to the east and the closest point to Faroes. They set off initially from Neskauptadur kayak club but after 60 hrs of slow progress they met a longline fishing vessel which advised them of a storm coming and offered to take them back. They were taken back to Stöðvarfjörður where they awaited another weather window - working on the fishing boat catching cod to earn their keep in the meantime. After 1 week they were able to set off on the 275NM journey across the 'Devils Dancefloor' again. After 4.5 days of paddling through squalls but quite calm seas they arrived at 3am into Tjørnuvík in the Faroe Islands.

The pair were weather bound in the Faroes for 3 weeks!! Before they finally got a small break in the weather to leave Suduroy to paddle back the final 180 NM to Scotland. But it became apparewnt the y were not goin to make the journey in time before the weather closed in and they had to seek shelter on North Rona. They were storm bound on the island for 6 days before another break in the weather gave them the chance to make the final 50NM leg back to Scotland, where they landed in Balnakeil Bay on 4th September 2016. They had been on the expedition for 66 days, of which 3 weeks was stuck in the Faroes, they slept a total of 12 nights at sea in the kayak. Unsupported - Use of sails

Lindisfarne Loop

Neil Turnbull
Cat:  K1M


Start Point: Lindisfarne
Finish Point: 
Distance: 16 km
Elapsed Time:  01:37:30
Start Date: 12-Dec-15
Finish Date: 12-Dec-15
Boats: Rockpool Taran , , ,

From Neil - 'A 16 km circumnavigation of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. The Island lies off the coast of Northumberland and is connected to the mainland by means of a vehicle causeway. The causeway and the adjoining shallow flats are covered at HW allowing a complete loop of the Island by kayak.

Tides need to be nearer Springs with anything above 4.9 meters (North Shields) making it viable. A clockwise or counter clockwise loop will work, both offering advantages and disadvantages in their own right. Accurate tidal planning is essential or you may find yourself walking a very long way through soft wet sand. A closed loop counts with a start point around the harbour area being recommended. The Holy Island is a nature reserve and managed by English Nature. Anyone visiting for the first time should check out the agreements and local by-laws which can be found here.... http://www.seakayakingnorthumberland.co.uk/HolyIsland.html'


Nick Beighton
Ian O'Grady
Adam Harmer
Tori James


Chris Buckton
Mike Harding
Barry Robson
Ian Smith
Mike Stroud
Cat:  Team


Start Point: Swanage
Finish Point: Alderney
Distance: 54nm
Elapsed Time:  19:21:29
Start Date: 21-Jul-2014
Finish Date: 22-Jul-2014
Escort Boat: Escort
Boats: Ski/SOT - various , , ,

An ambitous attempt to take a team of 5 across from Dorset to the Isle of Alderney - a crossing of 50+ nm. The route crossed a rather busy shipping channel before encountering significant tidal flows towards the latter stages. from the Team Organiser: "As far as I know this is the first ever Channel crossing to Alderney on Sit-on-top kayaks." - can't argue with that. Also -" You'll be amazed to hear that one of the team (who is in remission from Cancer) did it on a Hobie! A mixture of paddling and peddling... Anyway, all members of the team safe and well and over £5k raised for charity." Use of escort boat.


Nick Beighton
Ian O'Grady
Adam Harmer
Tori James
Cat:  K2


Start Point: Sennen Cove
Finish Point: Linney Head
Distance: 96 nm
Elapsed Time:  32:30 hrs
Start Date: 17-May-14
Finish Date: 18-May-14
Escort Boat: Escort
Boats: Valley Aleut II , Valley Aleut II , ,

The Beeline Britain Team set out with an ambitous goal of travelling from Land's End to John O'Groats in a straight line - kayaking, hiking or biking to travel from the South to the North of the UK. They completed the whole gruelling challenge in 28 days, covering 1100 km.

Along the way they completed two crossings of over 24 hrs by kayak. Good weather helped the first paddling leg from Sennen Cove (Cornwall) direct to Linney Head in Pembrokeshire (~98 nm). This was followed a week later by another impressive crossing from Porth Gain (Pembrokeshire) to Porth Dafarch on Anglesey (~84 nm). The team undertook a further three crossings during the trip: Anglesey - Isle of Man (~52 nm), Isle of Man - Isle of Whithorn (~18 nm) and Hopeman - Lybster Bay on Scotland's East Coast (~ 36 nm). Overall the Beeline Challenge covered an impressive set of open water miles in such a short time - not withstanding a good deal of human powered cross-country miles in-between too! Use of sails and escort boats.

North Rona Crossing

Donald Thomson
Calum Urquhart
Cat:  Team


Start Point: Port of Ness
Finish Point: North Rona
Distance: 40 nm
Elapsed Time:  ~14:00:00
Start Date: 08-Jul-14
Finish Date: 
Boats: Valley Nordkapp , P+H Sirius , ,

This is an impressive crossing, out into a big wide ocean with limited landing opportunites at the far end. From Calum:" Our GPS indicated we had paddled 52miles(83km). Calum was paddling a P+H Sirius, Donald paddled a Valley Nordkap. We paddled east from Lewis initially to avoid the tidal race at the Butt of Lewis then headed north. Landing was challenging as there are no beaches. It is a rocky landing and a scramble up cliffs...The conditions were as flat calm as they will ever get out there. There had been a small swell running when we arrived but this settled overnight.We were surprised to find that the midges were terrible, some of the worst I've encountered!...

After 2 nights on the island the original plan was to paddle back but shoulder tendonitis was making paddling uncomfortable so when a tour boat made a rare and unexpected visit to the island on our departure day, we took the opportunity to return to Lewis on the boat." (PSK: The photos from Calum show a significant rocky landing, it looks quite a handful even in perfect weather - follow the link above). Unsupported.

Shetland - Norway

Olly Hicks
Patrick Winterton
Cat:  K2


Start Point: Out Skerries, Shetland
Finish Point: Sotra
Distance: 174 nm
Elapsed Time:  62 hrs
Start Date: 17-Jul-13
Finish Date: 19-Jul-13
Boats: , , ,

Continuing with the challenge of super long crossings, Patrick Winterton was joined by Olly Hicks to make this audacious attempt on a crossing from Shetland to Norway. This was their second attempt, after the first (with third team member, Mick Berwick) was brought to a halt due to bad weather and fatigue after a swim. In 2012 Patrick and Olly returned, this time in a double kayak, and set out unsupported heading for Norway. Ahead lay 62 hours of open water.

They made good progress initially with the use of sails and a following sea, but things slowed as Patrick started to suffer from sea sickness, aggravated by the lack of a distinct horizon. They followed a routine of 4 hrs on and 1 hr off, using a drogue and buoyancy bags for stability which allowed them to 'sleep' for a few hours during the night - in the kayak. Conditions were far from flat calm, with Force 5 breaking seas compounding the challenge. Finally they landed on the archipelago of Sotra before continuing on to Bergen where the locals celebrated their achievement with a feast of barbecued elk, boar and venison.

From Patrick: "There was an intense sense of relief and satisfaction that we achieved the crossing in conditions which would have persuaded most to stay at home." He speaks of his satisfaction in "...trying stuff no-one's done before. There's no book to tell you how to do it." At this time this is probably the most remarkable kayak voyage to set out from the UK, a truly extraordinay crossing - undertaken unsupported and in a production sea kayak. Unfortunately the trip only drew limited publicity back home, the unfortunate timing of the arrival of a royal baby meant the media were distracted. Unsupported - Use of sails.

Scotland Circumnav

Jonny Hawkins
Cat:  K1M


Start Point: St Andrews
Finish Point: St Andrews
Elapsed Time:  62 days
Start Date: 25-May-12
Finish Date: 25-Jul-12
Boats: P+H Cetus , , ,

Though the elapsed time shows 62 days for Jonny, he did take some time out to graduate from St Andrew's University, along with a visit to the Alps during his trip! The route initally crossed from the east to west via the Forth and Clyde Canal and then worked northwards via the Crinnan Canal. Jonny was joined by friends for the first part of the journey to Ullapool. From then on, Jonny paddled K1M - along the North Coast and then down the East Coast to return to St Andrews. Unsupported.

Irish Sea Crossing - England

Conor Murray
Cat:  K1M


Start Point: Portavogie
Finish Point: Whitehaven
Distance: 65nm
Elapsed Time:  21:06:50
Start Date: 08-Aug-12
Finish Date: 
Boats: SKUK Explorer , , ,

Out of all the serious solo crossings on the PSK site, this one has to rate close to the top. Though it may not have the sheer distance or exposure involved with the super length crossings (Faroes/Shetland Bus etc), the challenge and commitment involved in this one should not be underestimated. Conor set out unsupported, without fuss and most significantly paddling solo, to travel across nearly 70 nm of open sea. To set out alone with that amount of open water ahead of you, frankly takes balls. Unsupported.

England to Finland

Erin Dunn
Alice Lawson
Cat:  Team


Start Point: Folkestone
Finish Point: Helsinki
Distance: ~1200 nm
Elapsed Time:  88 days
Start Date: 06-Jul-12
Finish Date: 01-Oct-12
Boats: P+H Cetus , P+H Cetus , ,

This may not be a route that first springs to mind when planning a sea kayak expedition but it did for Erin Dunn, Alice Lawson and Mark Waddoups. They set out from Folkestone to paddle all the way to Helsinki. Unfortunately Mark had to retire at the Wadden Sea due to work commitments but the ladies continued to complete the route in Helsinki. Take a read of the blog to learn of their interesting adventures. Unsupported.

UK-Faroes Crossing

Mick Berwick
Patrick Winterton
Cat:  Team


Start Point: Stornoway
Finish Point: West Vagur, Sudoroy
Distance: 188nm
Elapsed Time:  74 hrs
Start Date: 24-Jun-09
Finish Date: 28-Jun-09
Boats: Rockpool Menai 18 , Tiderace Xplore , ,

Surely the longest crossing ever to set out from UK waters in production sea kayaks - a trip that is the stuff of legends. This was a serious undertaking by Mick Berwick and Patrick Winterton as they paddled from Stornoway to Sudoroy, into a truly long boat-bound crossing. Included on the way: sleeping in the kayaks, brewing up afloat, hallucinations, awkward tides, bad weather, a 74 hr open crossing and so on... (PSK estimate on the distance). Unsupported.

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Records Returned: 26 (10+16)

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