Cat Friend (British) and Valerie Bisbal (Mallorcan) aim to be the first people to circumnavigate the Spanish Island of Mallorca (Majorca) on a Stand Up Paddle board (SUP).
Starting on 1 June 2018 from Port Soller they target completing the 555km trip (345 miles) in 21 days. Cat and Valerie aim to raise awareness of marine pollution and provide funds for conservation projects in the Balearic Sea and beaches of Mallorca.
Paddle Boarding around Majorca is significant venture, with many hazards including the north coast which is a hostile range of cliffs with very few places to land or shelter. Currents, winds, plastic debris, abandoned fishing nets, shipping lanes of cargo and ferries are just some of the many challenges.
Their planning started late 2017, they are now into the final days of preparation and training. Carrying more than 20kgs on the paddle board makes it difficult to manage, therefore logistics will be in place to supply the girls with food and water. Cat and Val train every day, as they will be standing on a SUP for up to 6 hours a day, regardless of wind, rain and currents, so stamina and fitness are important.
The scale of this venture puts it into expedition status. Cat and Val are looking for support to get them through. “If there is anyone on holiday in Mallorca in June, we would love them to join us for an hour or more, it would be great fun,” says Cat “you can find our whereabouts each day from our website.”
Last year Asociación Ondine with the aid of 870 volunteers removed 2.2 tonnes of rubbish from Mallorca’s beaches and 600m of ghost nets (lost or left fishing net) from the surrounding seas. “Maintaining the seas and beaches around Mallorca is important to us,” say Valerie Bisbal, “It’s heart-breaking to see the damage to fish, dolphins and other marine life. Every day we see pollution in the sea and litter on the beaches which is why this project is important to all people wherever they are.”All money raised will go to the Asociacion Ondine which works with government, business and local communities to enable conservation projects. The initial target is $15,000 (€12,000 / £10,000).