Hundreds of people clapped and cheered as world record-breaker Brendon Prince was given an emotional welcome homecoming yesterday.
They lined the steps and sands of Torquay's Torre Abbey Beach as the former Torquay teacher stepped ashore to be greeted by his wife, children, friends and small army of supporters.
Brendon, 48, said: "Just looking at the people around us says it all. I’m super stoked and to see these people, most of whom I don’t even know, buying into what we’re trying to do for water safety.
“It is amazing, and even the sun came out for us. There is a reason why this has not been done before, there were lots of hairy moments and lots of place where you really shouldn’t be stand-up paddleboarding.
“With the right awareness and skill level, the right equipment and team supporting me, it can be done and I’ve proven that now.
“I took eight million paddle strokes to get around this country and after the first 50, I was doubting what I was doing, but it was the motivation of water safety that kept me going. If one child learns the water safety message from this, it has all been worth it. "
He became the first to stand up paddleboard around mainland Britain. He crossed the finish line at the end of his circumnavigation of mainland Britain on a stand up paddleboard after 141 days, becoming the first person to complete this epic feat.
To claim four world records (two of which are world firsts) Brendon started his epic adventure on April 27 from Torquay and headed clockwise around Britain.
He battled the UK's unpredictable summer weather, busy shipping lanes and treacherous tidal flows in the world record attempt and has now completed what many before him failed to do.
Brendon took on this mammoth challenge all in aid of water safety.
As an off duty lifeguard Brendon took part in a rescue attempt at Morgan Porth beach where his life was changed by the sad downing of three holiday makers.
From that day onwards he has made it his life's mission to teach drowning prevention, going on to found the charity Above Water. In completing this world first Brendon is aiming to raise £200,000 to develop the world's first gamified water safety app free for all schools.
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