As fundraisers go this has to rate as one of the most bizarre, take four novice canoeists, put them in kayaks in the Irish Sea and wait for them to dock in Scotland.
That is just what intrepid members of Rossendale Round Table will be doing on Friday 18 September.
The four will be taken by boat to Belfast and at 10.30am will start paddling their way home heading for Portpatrick, just south of Stranraer.
Although only a distance of 24 miles, the team will have to navigate ferries, the tide, basking sharks, dolphins and porpoises and expect to arrive around 6pm.
“The fewer things we spot along the way the better,” said team leader Duncan Ogilvie, 36. “I am not a huge fan of seafood and I hope not to be seeing any fins if possible.There will also be ferries to negotiate but we have a large charter boat going with us so hopefully they will not come too close. Then there is the tide, but we have been watching the weather and it is supposed to be a good day on Friday.It is a massive undertaking and I can understand why some people see it as a bit daft, but hopefully we will be able to raise £5,000 for two very worthy causes – Positive Start, which is a local organisation working with young people, and the New Children’s Hospital in Manchester.”
The team: Duncan, Jonathan Foxcroft, Dan Hatton and Howard Leach, had never paddled a kayak until they accepted the challenge in January and began training at Burrs Country Park in Bury.
They have gained their sea legs practising off the coast of Barrow-in-Furness and had a training expedition to Ullswater.
It was father-of-one Duncan who started the group off on their massive challenges when as Round Table chairman he led a party up Britain’s three highest peaks within 24 hours to raise £2,500. This was followed by a coast-to-coast bike ride, which netted £2,000 for charity.
“It was the logical step to make the next mammoth fund-raiser a water-based challenge,” he said, “and we couldn’t make it much bigger than crossing the Irish Sea.”
All four have passed their British Canoe Union two star certificate and have developed their physique with free coaching from personal trainer Ray Jonak at Bacup’s Pioneer Health and Fitness Studio.
Anyone wanting to sponsor the event can log on to www.irishseachallenge.co.uk
For more information contact Duncan Ogilvie on 0788 6880438
Member since: 11th April 2012
I'm Isabella, I live in Bury and I have an interest in all things local and current.