11th June 2016

Laura Kennington kicks off Channel Islands triathlon

Adventurer Laura Kennington set off on one of the most demanding – and unusual – triathlons ever to be hosted by the Channel Islands. Between 11 and 13 June, she completed loops around three of them using four different means of self-propelled transport.

Writing on her website, Laura Explorer, she explained that she had been looking for stretches of open water in the UK that would provide her with a decent swimming challenge. When she saw how close together the Channel Islands were, she had her idea. She would visit them for a demanding three days of swimming, paddling and peddling.

Tri-island triathlon

Laura started her swim on the west coast of Sark and swam north around the larger part of the island, coming ashore at Maseline Harbour. It was by far the shortest part of the triathlon, but at five miles, was no mean feat – particularly not when navigating some of the largest tides in the British isles.

The 29-year-old athlete was accompanied at all times by a support team in kayaks providing food and drinks – including hot chocolate. Despite having the tide against her on part of the route, she was ahead of schedule at the half-way point.

The kayaks would be back in action on the second day when the plan was to paddle around Guernsey. The weather was far from ideal, though. The island was shrouded in fog when she set off, significantly reducing visibility when just a short distance from shore.

The route started at Portelet and went south, then east to circumnavigate the island counter-clockwise. Had she managed to complete it, she would have propelled herself 28 miles through the water. By the time she’d got half way, though, she and the support team decided that it was too dangerous to continue. They took their boats out of the water and she walked the northern part of the island, then back along the west coast to return to the start point.

The final event was the longest of the lot: a 45-mile a cycle ride around the largest of the Channel Islands, Jersey.

Her ride started in St Helier and took her by Gorey Castle, then through countryside shrouded in mist. It was hardly the ideal time to have visited any of the Channel Islands. However, she was accompanied by riders from the Jersey Roulers on this last leg, who gave her company and kept her on the right track. She made it safely back to St Helier by the end of the day. In doing so, she became the first person to ever attempt such a triathlon in the Channel Islands.

A video of her achievement has been posted to YouTube.


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Other events that occured in June