Russian kayaker travels 1,800 miles for tuition in Hastings ahead of challenge

Tatiana and her mum Natasha
Tatiana and her mum Natasha

A CROSS-CHANNEL kayaker from Russia has flown almost 1,800 miles to 1066 Country to receive tuition from a Hastings coach.

Tatiana Kimberley, who is 12 and lives in Moscow, visited Hastings for five days last week to get expert training from Clifford Meaden, of EpicLife Watersports.

The rising star made history last August when she became the youngest person to cross the English Channel by kayak.

She and her mother Natasha made the journey from Folkestone to Boulogne, travelling even further than they intended to.

The schoolgirl, whose family own a home in the south of France, trained for two hours a day during school holidays, as well as receiving instruction from Mr Meaden, ahead of the challenge.

In 2015 she plans to repeat the trip in a single kayak. But before that, Tatiana will be competing in another gruelling contest later this month, the Great Glen Paddle in Scotland.

She visited Hastings last week to receive more tuition from Mr Meaden, who is a professional kayaking coach, who himself went across the Channel a few years ago.

He said: “Endorsement has been received from the Guinness World Records that Tatiana is now the youngest person to have completed the challenging Channel crossing by kayak from England to France in only four hours and 36 minutes.

“She and her mother Natasha came over last week for training as both will be taking part in the Great Glen Paddle. Tatiana flew in for a weekend and visited Hastings for training before she went across the Channel.

“It’s around 19 miles to cross the Channel or around 24 taking the tides into account.

“I’ve had people from as far afield as Norway and Sweden come to receive tuition from me but Tatiana is the one who has travelled the furthest from Russia. Before I took her on we looked at her basic skills in paddling and so on.”

The Great Glen Paddle is 57 miles long and runs from Fort William to Inverness in two formats.

Aimed at very experienced paddlers the first format is a timed endurance race endeavouring to cover the entire route non-stop as quickly as possible.

The second format is purely a distance event for those wishing to cover the course in a more relaxed, but still challenging way, over two days.

Tatiana will be taking part in the Great Glen Paddle in Scotland on Saturday, March 22 and Sunday, March 23.