Kayakers Tim Ellis (66) and Eddie Ette (65) from Portland will be taking on the longest paddle of their lives to raise money for Julia’s House, the Dorset and Wiltshire children’s hospice charity.

Kayakers Tim Ellis and Eddie Ette

Both experienced endurance athletes, Tim and Eddie take to the water at Land’s End on 6 May, aiming to travel 400 miles along the south coast to Margate in just eleven days. The pair, who have completed six months of training in order to take on their ‘Pensioners’ Paddle 400’ challenge, will cover approximately 40 miles during each 10-hour day at sea. They hope to raise £4,000 for Julia’s House, who provide respite care and clinical and emotional support to the local families of seriously ill children.

Tim and Eddie, who met in 2001, have completed many fundraising challenges between them, and, says Tim, the emphasis is always on stretching on themselves: “We like to choose things that are extreme, or things that other people haven’t done before. We’re at an age where keeping ourselves active and fit is really important. As it was Eddie’s 65th birthday this year, we wanted to do something extra special to celebrate!”

Training is now tapering off as the challenge gets closer, but the pair have been regularly completing 20-mile paddles to Lulworth from their base in Portland. During the winter months they kept their fitness levels up with indoor rowing sessions, something Tim and Eddie are no strangers to as they are already British record holders for indoor tandem rowing.

“There has been a lot of training and logistical planning to get us to this stage, but now it’s all down to the weather gods,” Tim explains. “If the weather is good everything will be perfect. We use 18-foot sea kayaks which are fast, but also incredibly unstable, so we have to be sensible if conditions are not suitable. Whatever happens, we will get back out there and complete the challenge this year. We are doing this for the children and it’s great to be supporting Julia’s House again.”

“We are in awe of Tim and Eddie’s ambition and fitness levels and so grateful for their support,” says Alex Wilcox, Public Fundraising Assistant for Julia’s House. “They are an inspiration and everyone at Julia’s House is wishing them so much luck with their challenge. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for good weather too!”

You can learn more about Tim and Eddie’s challenge and make a donation by visiting their fundraising page.