Galway windsurfers set new Irish record - paddle to and from Aran Islands

Dan King, Dan Gardner and Joseph Gallagher pass by Mutton Island lighthouse on their stand-up paddleboards on Saturday night.

Galway windsurfers Dan Gardner, Joseph Gallagher and Dan King have set a new Irish record for stand-up paddle boarding. They made the 95km trip to and from the Aran Islands off Ireland’s west coast.

Their trip set a new record for long-distance stand-up paddling over 24 hours in Irish waters. They left the Galway lifeboat station at 5:25 am on Saturday, June 8, 2013. They reached Inis Mor by 1:00pm when they stopped for lunch and swim. They then returned to Galway a little bit before 11:00pm that evening.

The total trip took 17 hours and 33 minutes. Ciaran Oliver of the Sail Galway Bay and the Galway lifeboat crew estimated that the trio did about 4,000 strokes per hour.

They completed the challenge to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat service.

The trio had a lot of support along the way. A school of about 40 dolphins joined them for part of the trip. King told the Irish Times, “Well, we think they were dolphins, though we were half delirious at that stage, but we have video evidence.” In 2012 he did the one way route between Galway and the Aran Islands.

A support group consisting of Alan Gardner, Joe Nolan and Matt Pym provided more concrete support. They provided refreshments during the trip in sunny and near windless weather. The Galway inshore lifeboat and supporters greeted them on their return.

Stand-up paddle boarding is gaining popularity as a new sport. Surfers stand-up paddle board when there is no wind and fitness enthusiasts use it to tone muscle.

To learn more about the RNLI or to donate to their cause, visit their website here.

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