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#KAYAKING - Monaghan's Tommy Bowe will be in Carrick-on-Shannon this Wednesday 2 May to cheer on the hardy souls taking part in his fundraising kayaking challenge, as the Leitrim Oberver reports.

The Irish rugby international will meet 12 of his fellow countymen who today begin a marathon six-day 300km paddle in double sea kayaks along the Shannon-Erne Waterway from Killaloe to Clones.

The Tommy Bowe Shannon-Erne Challenge is raising funds for Glaslough Harriers Athletics Club in Monaghan.

For more on the challenge visit the fundraising website at www.tommybowechallenge2012.com.

Published in Kayaking
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#KAYAKING - Two intrepid Irish adventurers are crossing Asia on the first leg of their 16,000 trek along the Silk Roads to Shanghai, The Irish Times reports.

Limerick's Maghnus Smyth and David Burns from Derry will be making their way entirely self-propelled by foot, bicycle, canoe and kayak across the Asian continent to the world's largest city, all in aid of Irish-based charity Self Help Africa.

The duo is currently well into an 8,500km cycle across Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal to the Tibetan plateau, from where they will run through the Himalayas to the source of the Yangtse.

That point marks the start of an epic 6,300km kayak run along the river's length to Shanghai.

To keep track of their adventures and donate to their charity fund, visit their adventure blog at sand2snowadventures.com.

Published in Kayaking

#KAYAKING - A father-and-son duo from north Co Dublin will shortly embark on an epic kayak paddle from Dublin to Donegal, the Fingal Independent reports.

Dermot Higgins and his son Fionn, from Rush, will attempt to kayak from Dublin Port to the Atlantic Ocean at Ballyshannon - a distance of some 330km - by way of the Royal Canal, the River Shannon and Lough Erne.

The Higgins' - who believe they are the first to attempt such a feat - will be completely self-sufficuent for the duration of the challenge, which is hoped to raised funds for the Rush Open Organisation for Transition Status (ROOTS), a charity that intends to help communities reduce their carbon footprint and face up to environmental challenges by encouraging sustainability.

The Fingal Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

#KAYAKING - The Gaelforce adventure racing brand is looking forward to a busy 2012, as The Irish Times reports.

Best known for its signature race Gaelforce West - combining trail running, hiking, cycling and kayaking over a 67.5km course and attracting up to 3,000 competitors annually - the business is adapting to the prevailing economic climate by diversifying its activities.

This includes its Trail Blazer series, consisting of shorter running and kayaking races, as well as partnering with sports scientists at Santry's Sports Surgery Clinic to provide expert information to athletes.

“We’re trying to be innovative," said Gaelforce's Ciara Young. "Marketing had to pull back so the new events are ways to get people to interact with the brand and keep them thinking about the brand."

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

#KAYAKING - The University of Limerick were overall winners in the 2012 Irish Kayaking Intervarsities at GMIT Castlebar last weekend.

As the Mayo Advertiser reports, some 500 students were on hand for the three days of competition, which kicked off with canoe polo on Lough Conn (won by GMIT over DCU).

Saturday's action saw the whitewater contest on the Clydagh River, with Limerick emerging on top, and the freestyle event on the River Clare at Tuam Wave.

Sunday closed with the long distance event at Lough Lannagh, which clinched the weekend for UL's kayakers.

Mayo also hosted the Irish Intervarsity Sailing Championships in Rosmoney last week, which attracting 200 students to the Westport area.

Published in Kayaking

#KAYAKING - The Galway Advertiser reports that the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) at Castlebar will host the Irish Kayaking Intervarsities this weekend from today 17 February.

Eighteen colleges will compete in events on the Clydagh river and Lough Lannagh in divisions from whitewater and freestyle to canoe polo and long distance.

“The Kayaking Intervarsities will be a good way to highlight this adventure sports hub and the excellent town centre watersports amenity of Lough Lannagh," said Stephen Hannon of GMIT.

“For spectators the location is very convenient," he added. "People will have an opportunity to see a sport that is sometimes under the radar but at which Ireland has been represented in every Olympics since Munich in 1972.”

The Galway Advertiser has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

#NEWS UPDATE - Breaking News reports that the search for a 38-year-old man who went kayaking near Cromane in Co Kerry in the early hours of yesterday will resume this morning.

The alarm was raised yesterday morning after the man - named locally as Nealie O'Connor, and the father of a two-month-old baby - failed to return from his lake kayaking trip.

Published in News Update

#INLAND WATERWAYS - The first phase of a project to restore the Thomastown river was launched at the weekend with the opening of a new weir, the Kilkenny People reports.

Fundraising efforts by the Thomastown Community River Trust have already led to the regeneration of the riverbank from the town up to Thomastown Viaduct.

The new causeway also forms part of a planned trail from Bennettsbridge to Inistioge.

The trust's project was "focused on using environmentally friendly and sustainable engineering", working in partnership "with a diverse range of groups from walkers to kayakers and anglers".

Work is already underway on the second phase that aims to see the restoration of the weir, which collapsed in 2008, as well as the sluice and mill wheel, in an effort to re-establish the swimming pond and fish pass.

The Kilkenny People has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#TOURISM - Winter might be upon us, but it's a great time to plan a new year holiday in Ireland on the sea, according to the UK's Daily Echo.

From night-time paddling in with renowned kayaking instructor Jim Kennedy, to snorkelling in Baltimore, relaxing in Skibbereen and and fresh seafood lunches in Kinsale, a vacation in Cork can appeal to any taste.

Whale and dolphin watching is a big draw for the region, too, as Ireland's coast – the first cetacean sanctuary in Europe - plays host to a growing variety of species.

The summer feeding grounds off the southern coast are particularly busy, and tourist boats are often treated to whales breaching the surface and surrounded by dolphins putting on a show.

The Daily Echo has more on the story HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The first recorded sighting of a dolphin in an Irish lake has been reported by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), according to The Irish Times.

The dolphin was spotted in Lough Hyne, a saltwater lake near Baltimore in Co Cork by Skibbereen-based kayaking instructor Jim Kennedy, who filmed it over a number of days.

"To the best of my knowledge, and I’m open to correction, this is the first validated record of a cetacean using an Irish lake," said the IWDG's Pádraig Whooley.

Though there have been no further sightings since then, there is nothing to indicate that the dolphin has yet left the lough for the open sea.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Lough Hyne was also recently visited by a 13-metre fin whale that was sadly found beached in stormy conditions on the Sligo coast this week.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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