Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 27°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: Royal Navy man plans to kayak around the UK in world record attempt

09:00 03 January 2014

Thomas Welham, a member of the Royal Navy, is planning to kayak around the UK to raise money for East Anglia

Thomas Welham, a member of the Royal Navy, is planning to kayak around the UK to raise money for East Anglia's Children's Hospice.

A Royal Navy man from Ipswich plans to take to the high seas in a smaller craft than usual next year when he attempts to circumnavigate the UK in a kayak.

shares

Tom Welham, from Whitton, hopes to set a new world record by paddling between 2500 and 3000 miles around the British Isles, including the west coast of Ireland.

Although the project is just getting off the ground, he has already received permission from the navy to take three months leave in 2015 for the challenge.

The current world record is held by former Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton for her 2,010 mile kayak along the Amazon River.

Tom, a father of one who has served as a stores accountant on HMS Edinburgh and HMS Illustrious, also hopes to raise money for the East Anglian Children’s Hospice in the process.

Before joining the navy over three years ago Tom used to run the Maypole pub in Whitton with his father Shaun, and has since set up his own company to provide adventure challenges in the UK.

Although not an experienced kayaker, Tom is no stranger to physical tests.

He’s completed the three peaks challenge – climbing the UK’s three highest mountains – three times, most recently in August last year. In 2009 he cycled 1000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The following year he took on the Hadrian’s Wall Path Run and then he completed the 400 mile Coast to Coast walk.

He expects this challenge to be the hardest yet not just physically but mentally.

“It’s usually me and friend or me and a colleague,” said Tom. “However this challenge has to be done by a single person, so it’ll be more of a mental challenge.

“Me and my friend who did the cycle together, as soon as we finished the cycle we were looking for the next challenge and we thought of this. That’s been on the back shelf since then because obviously we’ve joined the Royal Navy.

“It was an opportunity for me to move up into something a bit more challenging and I always wanted to do something for EACH because I know about the great work they do.

“The biggest problem so far has been getting it off the ground and finding the time to do it.”

One of the stipulations made by the Guinness Book of Records is that Tom may not stop for longer than 48 hours. As such he plans to develop a network of people around the UK coast who can provide shelter or a hot meal at short notice if he needs to put in for the night at a remote spot. Nonetheless he anticipates having to camp and sleep on beaches at times.

Tom admitted being nervous about the challenge: “I think mentally the biggest part is going to be doing it by yourself for long periods of time.

“Whenever I have had it tough before in previous challenges I’ve had others there to pick me up but now I’m going to have to be able to pick myself up.”

shares

2 comments

  • Thanks to the Star for getting the story out there. Please click the link below If you would like to know more or want to get in contact; www.kayakaroundtheuk.com

    Report this comment

    Tom

    Friday, January 3, 2014

  • For more info on the Kayak Around The UK challenge visit the official web page: www.kayakaroundtheuk.com or email me at tom@greenilly.com

    Report this comment

    Tom

    Friday, January 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Bolts of lightning during the storms above Ipswich in the early hours of Saturday, pictured by Tina Boniface

Fierce lightning storms swept over Suffolk and Essex last night.

John McGuire

A 25-year-old man has gone missing from a mental health unit in Colchester.

National Lottery winners pictured helping out on a build at Black Notley Community Association in Braintree, Essex. Pictured are the team working hard in the sunshine to complete the job.

Lottery winners with a combined worth of £25million mucked in to help create a holiday haven in Black Notley.

Suffolk county councillor Lisa Chambers

More than 90% of parents in Suffolk have had their first-choice places accepted for their children starting school this September, it has been revealed.

Mandy Hearle launches her Ping project

A fundraiser who last year completed a daily dare day for global emergency medical aid has taken on an equally ambitious venture for 2015.

Actor, Dudley Sutton, who plays William Makepeace in Emmerdale and was Tinker in Lovejoy, will be exhibiting his art work at the Aldeburgh Beach Lookout.

Perhaps best known for his long and distinguished acting career, Dudley Sutton harbours myriad other talents – some of which are displayed on the coast today.

The police helicopter was deployed to help the search.

Concern in growing for a man who is missing from the Cambian Fairview Hospital in Colchester.

There has been 64 serious motorcycle crashes in Essex

A major campaign is being launched to educate motorcyclists as the number of serious crashes involving riders on Essex roads continues to rise.

Hundreds of families gathered at Portman Road to watch the outdoor screening of Frozen.

Portman Road was transformed to a world of snowflakes and ice despite the 26C (78.8F) sunshine this morning.

Upper Brook Street in Ipswich.

A Trimley St Martin man who fractured a man’s collar bone in a drunken late-night attack in Ipswich town centre has been given a suspended jail term.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages