The Celtic Crossing

One of the toughest events we organise here at the Ocean Sports Centre is The Celtic Crossing. A 55km paddle from the Isles of Scilly to Sennen Cove, crossing one of the busiest and most treacherous patches of sea around the UK coastline. Inspired by an event held annually in the Hawaiian Islands called the Molokai, the Celtic Crossing is open to any paddle craft, from paddle boards, SUP’s, ocean Ski’s, gigs and Hawaiian style outrigger canoes, pretty much if you can paddle it you can do it.

The sea between Scillies and Lands End, also known as the Celtic Sea, is a spot where 3 seas meet. With the Bristol Channel to the north, the English channel to the south, and the whole North Atlantic to the West, it is a cauldron of tides, weather, shipping traffic and dramatic coastline unlike any other.

When it happens.

The Celtic Crossing is run every year and each year it becomes a game against the elements. Things change constantly off Lands End and predicting the weather much more than 48hrs ahead is very difficult. As such you need to be flexible in your approach, and open to last minute changes to ensure a safe crossing.

The event is a great one for those determined to get out there and really challenge themselves. Paddling 55kms across open ocean, where you can’t see land in front or behind you, takes a special kind of determination. As with running a marathon, you need to be physically fit as well as mentally fit which is why anyone planning to take on the crossing takes several months to prepare for.

We work closely with our athletes to ensure they are ready for the crossing. From the very beginning we can advise on planning a training regime to working out hydration, food, safety craft and the best route to take on the day. Also, because you will be crossing the traffic separation scheme, basically a 3km wide motorway for ships, you do need to liaise with the Coastguard Service out of Falmouth to ensure the 30,000ton boats streaming through, know you are there and what you are doing.

Get involved.

Besides all the safety aspects, there are a number of reasons to complete the challenge, not least of all because of the scenery – seeing Lands End, the Longships Lighthouse and essentially the UK, appear over the horizion is a very special experience and speaking as someone who has completed the challenge a number of times, it is something you will not forget.

Wild life is another great part of the Celtic Crossing… dolphins, porpoise, puffin’s, tuna and Orca’s have all been spotted while doing the crossing.

If this is something you would like to do, either as an individual, as part of a relay team, or as part of a crew, then get intouch with us at