Yesterday (Saturday, September 17, 2014), Mike Hirst and Mark Cochran established the benchmark Round Tortola Record for a Stand Up Paddleboard in the Nanny Cay Challenge with a surprisingly fast time of 7 hours and 9 minutes.
Hirst and Cochran left Nanny Cay at 5:04am and landed back at 12:13pm. The pair had been waiting for a calm weather window for some time and today, with very light southerly winds forecast, was the day.
The day was predominantly overcast and, as forecast, the breeze never filled in for the 26.43 mile circumnavigation. They averaged 3.7 knots and burnt 5,700 calories each. Both only fell off once. Starting about an hour before sunrise, they passed under Beef Island bridge just before 7am, and Frenchman’s Cay bridge at 11am.
They literally paddled around Tortola only and went inside Buck Island, Beef Island and Frenchman’s Cay. Paddling without support, they carried their own food, water and supplies. But even with the winds light, cross winds on the north shore, and head winds on the final run from West End to Nanny Cay, still made the going tough.
Anyone wanting to attempt the SUP Nanny Cay Challenge should register intent with Miles Sutherland-Pilch, general manager of Nanny Cay, who will provide timing officials and ratification.