“Look,” someone says, pointing. “A crazy man is about to kill himself.”
Bobbing in an eddy of freezing, grey, swirling water, a tiny figure in the distance squeezes into a small red and blue polyethylene kayak. It’s made from the same material as Tupperware, but here there’s no lifetime guarantee. Shaun Baker, four time Guinness World Record holder, has made his decision and there’ll be no turning back. Like some strange amphibious knight intent on mortal combat armed with just state-of-the-art carbon-fibre paddles and protective “knuckle-duster” gloves, his head encased in a full-face Dainese motorcycle racing helmet, and body strapped and reinforced with layers of articulated cyclo-cross plastic armour and foam padding, he’s heading straight for what looks like the edge of the earth.