The London Crossing organised by Active 360 was held in some pretty tough conditions, with torrential rain throughout the 16 KM distance race. 27 paddlers set off from Putney and paddled through the centre of London, a world city. Race organiser Paul Hyman from Active 360 commented that “although conditions were tough with driving rain throughout. The racers rose to the challenge and seemed to enjoy pitting themselves against the elements and each other.”
Photo Credit: Geoff Maher
Starboard SUP team rider Ben Pye took the 1st place in the crossing after working with Ben Fisher and PJ Simmons for the first half of the race, he broke away and paddled the rest of the 16 KM race out front on his own to finish in a time of 1 hour 28 minutes. He raced using a Starboard 14’ x 21.5” Sprint. Ben Pye talks to TotalSUP about his London Crossing Race.
Photo Credit: Peter Tranter
Hi Ben, how was the London Crossing, how did it feel to paddle through the heart of London?
The feeling I had coming into the finish of the London Crossing, was incredible. I cannot explain how good it felt to take the win at a big race like that, it was so good to finally feel the training pay off.
It was an incredible feeling paddling through the centre of London, not too intense because it was early in the morning so didn’t have too much boat traffic. It was great to have an opportunity no one else normally has paddling past the big iconic sights in the city like Big Ben or the Houses of Parliament.
Photo Credit: Peter Tranter
I completed the course in a time of 1 hour, 28 minutes which i’m very happy with. The best part of the race had to be padding under the famous Tower Bridge. The least best part was seeing a police boat heading towards me, had a slight feeling of worry for a second! Ha ha!
Would you recommend this race to other paddlers?
It was a great day, ran very well by Active 360, it was such a great course from Putney to Shadwell, right through the heart of London! I will definitely be back to race, hopefully defend my title again next year! The prize giving was a great idea on the boat as we travelled back to Putney from Shadwell, it was a great opportunity to take in all the sights which I could not do whilst racing! Huge thanks to Active 360 for putting on a great event, it will be an unforgettable race for me, paddling through the centre of London. A very rare opportunity!
Photo Credit: Peter Tranter
What is next for Ben Pye?
My season has gone really well thank you, I felt I have improved and got faster at each race this season, and have really learned a lot from each race. I am due to go to the ISA World SUP and Paddleboard Championships in China next month. I will be racing in the Men’s Technical and Distance race. It will be a great opportunity to represent Great Britain at my second ISA World Championships after last years event in Denmark. I’d like to thank all my sponsors, Starboard, Black Project Fins, SUPboarder Magazine for their support. Also my parents and sister, who all support me massively at these events, I couldn’t do it without them all.
In 2019 the London Crossing will grow in size and form part of a much bigger event that is the Regatta London, this regatta will include Rowing, outrigger and other craft racing. The race is likely to be early Sept.
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