A world record breaker is finding her land legs after riding the waves on her paddleboard - from Northern Ireland to Scotland.

Samantha Rutt, originally from Bolton and who now lives in Norfolk, recently sailed from Donaghadee to Portpatrick in world record timing.

The 44-year-old crossed it in a Guinness World Record breaking five hours and three minutes, becoming the first woman to paddleboard the crossing in the process.

But despite her personal glory, she held the highest praise for her sister, Gemma Walker.

Samantha said: “She’s my biggest cheerleader. She really is, she supports me so much in the back.

The Bolton News: Samantha with her support crew for the challengeSamantha with her support crew for the challenge

“I was diagnosed with PTSD so I’ve been doing challenges like this to raise money.

“It can be quite difficult in the lead up because of the level of anxiety, I get quite nervous.

“But she is always there to pick me up and cheer me up.”

The former Sharples School pupil also highlighted how important it is to talk and be open about mental health with other people, and how you can do what you set your mind to."

The Bolton News: Gemma was 'so proud' of SamanthaGemma was 'so proud' of Samantha

Samantha said: “But anyone can go off and do what I’ve done, I think if people have the right support.”

Samantha was originally meant to paddleboard across the English Channel and back, but couldn't due to French Covid regulations.

She had raised over £5000 for charity Blackdog Outdoors to cross the Channel so needed another challenge to undertake, which is where the North Channel came in.

Samantha said: “The North Channel is a specific part of the coast where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Irish Sea. It’s one of the hardest crossings for swimmers to do.

“I did it in five hours and three minutes – though I wish I’d got under five hours.

The Bolton News: Samantha wanted to raise awareness of mental health and show that it's okay to talk about itSamantha wanted to raise awareness of mental health and show that it's okay to talk about it

“I probably would’ve got it if I hadn’t stopped to look at a jellyfish! It was absolutely huge.”

Sister Gemma, aged 40 from Tonge Fold, said: “She’s very humble and said she was lucky with the conditions. She’ll always be the sporty one, our family, we’re not remotely sporty!

“I’m so proud of her.

“She’s naturally very strong minded. She gives 150 per cent in everything she chooses to do, she’s formidable.”

Gemma also mentioned how she and Samantha spent their teenage years in Tonge Fold after having spent the previous years travelling around as their dad was in the army.