RCYC Member prepares for North Sea challenge 26 May 2016
RCYC member Tom Harrison has reached the final stages of his preparations to windsurf 75 nautical miles to raise funds for the British Dyslexia Association and the RNLI. He hopes to raise a total of £10,000 for each nominated charity.
After two years of planning, training and raising funds for equipment, Harrison believes ‘the time is right’ and he hopes to attempt the challenge in July or August this year, depending on the weather conditions.
To complete the 75nm course on his custom-built carbonfibre board and Severne sail, in his target time of five hours, Tom says he’ll need to clock up an average speed of 15kts, which means he’ll need a steady southerly breeze of 15-18kts.
Sailing across the North Sea from Burnham on Crouch (Swin Spitway) to Ostend, is no mean feat. Tom will face many challenges along the way including biggest hazard of all – shipping. The Channel, which flows into the North Sea in this area, is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, so it will be down to Tom and his support team on the accompanying RIB Restless, to work out a safe route through.
Thankfully, Team North Sea Challenge is well equipped with modern marine technology including Sci-Tech (POB) Tracker, which tracks in real time, independently of phone networks, using GNSS and RF technology. Communication between the support crew and Tomwill be via hand held VHF radios, and AIS (Automatic Identification System) to alert shipping, will be in use.
Commenting on his training and the level of fitness he has built up, to date, Harrison concluded: “I have been training for this for two years but with under three months to go, I have increased the intensity. I spend between one-two hours in the gym four or five days a week, as well as yoga every morning and as much on-the-water training as possible. My sailing sessions last anything between two and four hours, so it is full on.”
To follow the progress of Tom’s North Sea Challenge, go to www.tomharrisonnorthseachallenge.com. There will also be constant news updates on Facebook (Tom Harrison North Sea Challenge) and Twitter (Thomas Harrison@tomwindsurfing).
To help raise funds for Tom’s chosen charities – RNLI and British Dyslexia Association – click the links below.
British Dyslexia – https://www.justgiving.com/thomasHarrisonwindsurfing