A Barnstaple man is attempting to become one of the few people to have windsurfed to Lundy Island.

Joe Mitchell pictured with his Lundy windsurf training partner Nathan Long . Picture: Joe MitchellJoe Mitchell pictured with his Lundy windsurf training partner Nathan Long . Picture: Joe Mitchell

Joe Mitchell is a surfer and sailor but only took up windsurfing this year and he hopes to complete the 40-mile-return journey across the open sea, crossing from Westward Ho!

His aim is to raise £2,000 for Children's Hospice South West.

Mr Mitchell said: "The idea is to learn to windsurf, and to then to windsurf to Lundy Island, all within six months.

"I'll take any opportunity to be on the water and learning to windsurf means combining two of my favourite pastimes, surfing and sailing.

Joe Mitchell only learned to windsurf this year, but now plans to try the crossing to Lundy Island from Westward Ho! Picture:  Joe MitchellJoe Mitchell only learned to windsurf this year, but now plans to try the crossing to Lundy Island from Westward Ho! Picture: Joe Mitchell

"But I think I'm ready and rate my chances of success at about 50/50. I will only know the true magnitude of the challenge once I'm doing it!"

Mr Mitchell has been training since May and hopes to complete the challenge before he turns 50 at the end of October - he has said he is ready as soon as there is suitable weather.

He added: "I had my first lesson at the beginning of May but windsurfing isn't easy and having mentioned my plan to a few seasoned windsurfers, the reaction has been mixed, varying from 'it's not totally out of the question' to 'are you serious?'."

Mr Mitchell has raised nearly £400 so far for the charity, which provides care and respite for children with life limiting conditions and their families at its Little Bridge House hospice in Fremington.

Josh Allen, community fundraiser for Children's Hospice South West said: "People do some incredible things to support CHSW and this is right up there with some of the most special fundraising challenges.

"We hope the weather holds and Joe gets a good shot at completing his challenge before his 50th birthday."

He is waiting for favourable conditions to complete the challenge.

Mr Mitchell said: "There is nothing on the horizon yet but that could change any day."

"The word 'hospice' instantly makes you think it's somewhere they go for end-of-life support, but CHSW is so much more.

"I truly hope I reach my target - and beyond if possible - and help to bring some happy memories to local families."

To donate and find out more visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/lundychallenge .