Emily King is one of the UK’s most successful paddleboard athletes and, from May 3-11, she will be on the Island waiting for a weather window to complete one of her most ambitious adventures yet.
Over three consecutive days, Emily will be completing The Kings Challenge – covering more than 120 miles (200km), circumnavigating the Island twice, once by paddleboard and once by bike, before running a marathon across the Island on the third day.
After a vicious dog attack left her with PTSD and agoraphobia, Emily found refuge in paddleboarding. Three years after the attack, Emily left her old life behind and moved to Wales. She said: “I felt that I had to get away. Having a massive fear of being outside and being near dogs, I was recommended surfing because dogs don’t really go out into the waves.” When she didn’t click with surfing, Emily moved on to paddleboarding.
Emily will be using her challenge to raise funds for the Isle of Wight Youth Trust.
She said: “It’s massively important to have support and know that you can reach out and that there are people that will help you whatever your situation. This is my way of giving back; the Island has been really kind to me over the years.”
Whilst circumnavigating the Island, Emily will be accompanied by Island-based endurance SUP athlete and mental health advocate, Charlie Head, who, if conditions allow, will go on to complete a double circumnavigation of the Island. On the bike ride and the run, Emily will be supported by other local athletes.
Emily aims to raise £2,500 for the Isle of Wight Youth Trust; you can support her at bit.ly/IWO-paddleboarder.