A COUNCIL worker who played a major part in Chester’s Olympic torch event has landed a top award for kayaking across the English Channel in record time.
Ian Tordoff travelled to Eton Dorney, the site of the Olympic rowing and sprint canoe and kayak events, to be presented with a silver cup for his feat in 2005, which also raised funds for the British Heart Foundation.
The Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) officer made the crossing of 40 kilometres (24 miles) in three hours 21 minutes and 54 seconds – the fastest time ever – shaving 11 minutes off the 30-year previous world record.
The Channel is recognised as one of the most difficult sea crossings around the UK, with tides of up to nine knots in the centre, a seven-metre tidal rise and fall, plus the hazards of weather and shipping.
His record has since been broken twice and Ian received his award along with the other five record holders who have broken the record for this challenge dating back to 1948. Ian, the events commissioning and development officer for CWaC, was ten times British champion and an international paddler with the Great Britain Team for 19 years, competing in world championships in wild water racing, sprints, marathon and rafting.
He said: “It’s fantastic to be awarded this trophy which recognises my old record and I guess my kayaking career on this special day.
“To meet some the other record holders both past and present who have shared this challenge will be a good memory for the future.
“Many of the new holders and the team selected for the Olympics this year were juniors when I was in my senior career and I have had the privilege to race against some of them at an international level.
“It’s great to see that they will now be realising their dreams at this year’s Olympics.”