Menai Challenge Info - New layout for 2015

The Menai Challenge is a Time Trial set in the Menai Straits. It is aimed at those looking to test their technique, stamina and planning skills. The Challenge is an informal, self timed affair; paddlers set a time and then send it in to PSK. Then we add it to the results page so you can compare yourself against your peers/buddies/enemies or even just yourself.

For 2015 there are two courses running in parallel:
The Legacy (2014) course is a loop run from Menai Bridge, taking in Brittania Bridge and Bangor Pier, involving two runs through the Swellies!
The Challenge (2015) course is shorter but more technically challenging. It loops around Brittania Bridge and Gored Goch island, giving 4 runs through the Swellies! The Ranking List will be a combined list taking fastest times from either course - the choice of course is down to you!

There is a Prize Draw annually - on a raffle basis - you don't even have to set a fast time!
The Menai Challenge is not suitable for big softies.

Challenge Course Info

Legacy Course Info

2015 Latest Results

Safety Note

Paddlers are entirely responsible for their own safety and welfare whilst attempting or preparing for the Menai Challenge. All paddlers should carry relevant safety equipment; suggestions include: waterproofed mobile phone, VHF radio, flares, spare warm clothing, exposure bag, first aid kit, spare paddles etc. Paddlers should be well versed and competent in self rescue techniques and open/moving water paddling; solo paddling is most strongly not recommended. Participants must wear a CE approved personal flotation device (PFD) and paddling clothing relevant to the anticipated conditions.

Beware of other water users and obstacles within the Straits. There are numerous buoys, moored craft and markers/perches/posts - all of which could result in serious harm if you get too close. Give them all a very wide berth, the fast flow means that you will close surprisingly rapidly on any obstacles. Be aware that some parts of the course can be exposed to wind and wave.

It is recommended to notify Holyhead Coastguard (01407 762051) and/or a shore contact before you set out.

(See also PSK Safety Info Page)


The courses can be run in either direction. It is left to the paddler to decide the best direction, route and tide to use. The Menai Challenge can be undertaken on whichever day or tide the paddler considers safe and suitable.

The challenge is self-timed by the paddler; the clock starts when you leave the start line and stops when you cross the finish line (see Course Info above). Times are submitted by the individual and should be backed up with a GPS track file if possible.

Please time using a stopwatch (down to seconds). If any times draw on the same minute,  times submitted without seconds will be rounded up to the next whole minute.

Send your details to PSK: Here

Please tell us your:
  • Name
  • Gender
  • Age (if you want)
  • Boat Model/Manufacturer
  • Club/Organisation
  • Date
  • Start Time
  • Time Taken


There will be two classes; one for single sea kayaks (K1) and one for double sea kayaks (K2). There will be no class distinctions for boat design, boat length, boat construction, boat colour, weather, lack of training or any other excuse. Crack on and don’t be a wuss.


The Menai Challenge is open to all paddlers of purpose built sea kayaks which must incorporate at least two dry, sealed compartments separated from the cockpit area by permanent watertight bulkheads. Kayaks must be fitted with full length deck lines; the fitting of toggles/grab handles and additional buoyancy (air bags etc) is strongly recommended. There are no length restrictions. Spraydecks and PFD's must be worn at all times. Only sea kayaks are currently eligible – no skis, WWR boats, open canoes etc. Sea kayaks may only be propelled with paddles - no sails, outboards etc! Wash-hanging of other sea kayaks is allowed, but not of any other craft (powered or non-powered).

Rockpool Kayaks have generously offered demo versions of their kayak fleet for use. They are based in Holyhead, contact them directly if you want to arrange use of one of their kayaks.


There is a Prize Draw at the end of each year for all those who completed a run. Sponsored prizes will be awarded on a raffle basis, irrespective of the time you posted. One prize per boat max.

Paddlers are entirely responsible for their own safety and welfare whilst attempting or preparing for the Menai Challenge.

Menai Challenge

Current Top 5 - 2015





Full Results


Summit to Sea

Peak UK

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