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Displaying items by tag: Kayaking

#Kayaking - Last April Afloat.ie highlighted two intrepid Irish adventurers on the first leg of a gruelling 16,000-mile charity trek across Asia - by foot, bike, raft and kayak - along the Silk Roads to Shanghai.

But as the New Year began last week - just over eight months later - the duo of Maghnus Collins and David Burns were just 450km away from completed their epic journey, as The Score reports.

Limerick man Collins told the sports website that he and Derry native Burns were at Wuhu, a city on the Yangtze upstream of Shanghai, and from where the pair will tackle the rest of the route along the river by kayak.

It's surely incredible enough that Collins and Burns ran the equivalent of 25 marathons in 27 days as they crossed Tibet to the source of Asia's longest river - but being the first ever kayakers to navigate the "incredibly dangerous" Yangtze from source to sea is almost beyond belief.

Little wonder, then, that they've so far raised €30,000 for Irish-based charity Self Help Africa, and will surely reach their target of €50,000 by the time they expect to reach the finish line this day next week.

The Score has more on the story HERE - and listen to an interview with Collins and Burns on Today FM's The Last Word with Matt Cooper (at the 41-minute mark of part 2).

Published in Kayaking

#SEA KAYAKING - Outdoors Ireland are running night-time sea kayaking trips on Kinvara Bay on Friday evenings over this winter and spring.

Beginning at 6pm each Friday, you can savour the sights, lights and sounds of Kinvara right on the water as you paddle by sea kayak through this southeastern corner of Galway Bay.

Paddle among deserted islands, listening to the abundant wildlife and possibly catching a glimpse of the gleaming eyes of friendly seals!

Moreover, witness the sight of the sparkling lights of Kinvara Town and the quietly impressive 16th-century Dungaire Castle.

With new sea kayaks, warm equipment provided and a local experienced guide, all abilities are catered for. This is an experience not to be missed next time you are in Galway.

The price is €50 per person for a three-hour kayak trip. For more details or photos please contact [email protected]  or 086 860 4563.

Published in Kayaking

#COASTAL NOTES - A group of young kayaking enthusiasts from Northern Ireland have taken the top spot in their category at the Coca-Cola Clean Coast Awards, as the Coleraine Times reports.

The Causeway Coast Kayak Association comprises 150 young people learning canoeing and other skills on the Causeway Coast in North Antrim.

They were recognised for their involvement in coastal cleanups around Ramore Head and along inland waterways such as the rivers Roe and Bann.

NI Environment Minister Attwood, who was on hand to present the award, said: “It is great to see community and youth groups taking pride in their own neighbourhood and doing something about littering which is such a blight on our coast and around our inland waterways.”

The Coleraine Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#KAYAKING - A fitness instructor from Donegal recently raised funds for a Parkinson's charity by crossing the north of Ireland from east to west with an extraordinary combination of running, cycling, swimming and kayaking.

As the Donegal Democrat reports, James McIntyre spent a weekend traversing the island of Ireland from Newcastle in Co down to Creevy in Co Donegal.

His route that included a mountain run across Sliabh Donard and the Mournes and a cycling portion from Annalong to Enniskillen, before he took to the water for a 35km kayak run along the length of Lower Lough Erne to Beleek and a swim across Assaroe Lake.

McIntyre covered 201km altogether in his epic challenge to raise funds for research into Parkinson's disease, an illness that affected both his and his partner's grandfathers.

The 37-year-old surf lifesaver is no stranger to such efforts, after completing an open sea swim of Donegal Bay last year, also for charity.

The Donegal Democrat has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

#MCIB - The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has recommended that the Government review standards for activity centres involved in marine sports, following its report into an incident off Co Louth in May 2011.

Seven sixth-class pupils from St Brigid's Girls National School in Glasnevin were stranded in the water when their kayaks capsized in rough conditions near the Neptune Outdoor Centre in Clogherhead on 26 May last year.

Six of the girls were rescued by the RNLI Clogherhead lifeboat, while a seventh who had been separated from the group managed to reach the shore with some difficulty. No injuries were reported in the incident.

Among its findings, the MCIB concluded that as it had no official affiliation with either the Irish Sailing Association or the Irish Canoe Union, the Neptune Outdoor Centre - which has since ceased trading - was effectively unregulated with no monitoring of staff or operations.

It was also found that the instructor on the day had no formal qualifications in taking charge of a group of young people on the water, despite many years of experience in marine sports.

Moreover, there was no support boat available to mount a rescue attempt, a number of the pupils involved had ill-fitting buoyancy aids, and the weather conditions at the time of the incident were not conducive to taking a group of novices out on the water.

It was noted that some of the pupils involved credited a water safety course with helping them to take the right course of action when in the water, such as staying with their craft and floating with the waves on their backs.

The MCIB recommends that the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport reviews the existing arrangements for marine-based activity centres, and in particular develop standards for safety management (including weather checks, pupil-to-teacher ratio, etc), safety equipment (lifejackets, VHF radios, etc) and instructor qualifications.

The full report is available as a PDF from the MCIB website HERE.

Published in MCIB

#NORWAY DROWNING - An Irishman has died in a kayaking accident in Norway, as The Irish Times reports.

UCC student and keen kayaker Colm Johnson, from Bandon in Co Cork, was paddling with four Irish friends on the "popular but challenging" Sjoa river in central Norway on Monday when he got into difficuly going over six-metre drop.

The rest of the group threw ropes from the shore to where the 25-year-old went under the surface but were unable to rescue him.

A rescue helicopter was dispatched to the scene less within an hour but was also unable to recover him, citing the operation as "very difficult" due to the narrowness of the ravine.

Johnson's body was later recovered downstream, and police in Norway are currently awaiting postmortem results.

He is survived by his parents, brother and two sisters. The Department of Foreign Affairs has offered consular assistance to the family.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
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#CANOEING - Top junior surf kayaker Andy McClelland was on hand this week for the official opening of Northern Ireland's East Coast Canoe Trail, as the Carrick Times reports.

The new route - running for 70 nautical miles from Strangford Village at the mouth of the Ards Peninsula to Waterfoot on the Co Antrim coast, and passing the renowned Glens of Antrim and Belfast Lough - completes a series of trails that follows the entire Northern Irish coastline.

McClelland, who was victorious in the Surf Kayak Junior World Championships in North Carolina last October, described the trails as "a real feather in our cap in terms of visiting kayakers as there are few other countries in the world which can rival the canoeing facilities we now have here in Northern Ireland.”

The launch of the East Coast Canoe Trail comes almost a year after the introduction of the Foyle Canoe Trail and the 'kayaker's dream' South East Canoe Trail, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The route is completed by the North Coast Canoe Trail, highlighted on BBC TV last year, which takes in such remarkable sights as the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge.

Waterproof guides for both trails are available free from from local tourist information centres or online from CanoeNI.com. The website also features detailed online mapping and charts of the routes.

The Carrick Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Canoeing

#KAYAKING - Irish-built kayaks were the vessels of choice for the third annual Small Boat Day in Groton, Connecticut, as the Mystic River Press reports.

Kayakers of all levels of experience were welcome for the free event on the waters off Esker Point Beach last Saturday, trying out some of 16 different models of sea kayaks provided by Kayak Waveology.

The New England-based sea kayaking school features vessels built in Ireland "to withstand the rigours of the Irish Sea".

The calm waters off Esker Point were no match for those conditions - which, if the novices have anything to say about it, is probably for the best!

Local resident Bill Grady, who has been the driving force behind the small boat event, said it was intended to encourage the public to make use of the "fabulous" resources that make use of the water.

"People don't really take advantage of them. Lots of people from out-of-town know about them," he said.

"It's just neat to play with small boats. You can get on the water very reasonably. It's great fun and a great family activity."

The Mystic River Press has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking
Tagged under

#KAYAKING - Cobh native Mike Jones has embarked on a challenging solo circumnavigation of Ireland by kayak to raise funds for a children's hospice.

The adventurer departed on Monday 4 June in an 18-foot sea kayak, aiming to paddle up to 12 hours and complete a marathon distance of 30 miles each day to finish the challenge in under five weeks.

His kayak will be loaded with more than 50kg of essential kit and supplies, including lots of food - Jones will need to consume at least 5,000 calories each day if he's to keep up the pace and beat the rough seas and strong currents around the Irish coastline, especially in this weather.

Jones - a veteran of expeditions including whitewater kayaking in Nepal and rowing across the Atlantic - hopes this latest adventure will raise €10,000 for the Children's Sunshine Home and LauraLynn House for children with life-limiting conditions.

The attempt evokes memories of last year's solo circumnavigation of the island of Ireland by Elaine 'Shooter' McKenna - the first woman from Northern Island to achieve such a feat.

SportsYoga.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking
Tagged under

#KAYAKING - Firefighters from Northern Ireland are currently undertaking the challenge of a lifetime to raise funds for a local children's charity, as UTV Live News reports.

Starting yesterday, the eight-strong team from Belfast and Lisburn embarked on the Celtic Crossing Challenge, which involves climbing Ben Nevis in Scotland followed by a 100-mile cycle to the Mull of Kintyre, kayaking across the North Channel to Northern Ireland, another cycle from Cushendun to Newcastle via Belfast, and a final ascent up Slieve Donard.

The firefighters of the Specialist Rescue Team have put in months of training in preparation for the event, which will conclude on Tuesday, which involved many hours kayaking at sea and on local rivers and loughs.

Max Joyce of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) told UTV: "We'll be hitting Cushendun - hopefully Cushendun and not Iceland - at about 1pm on Monday and we would love people to come along and cycle with us into Belfast."

The challenge hopes to raise £20,000 for CLIC Sargent, a charity supporting young children with cancer. It has special significance for Joyce, who was diagnosed with cancer himself in 1997.

"It's worth every minute if we can in some small way help children who are suffering from this hideous disease," he said.

UTV Live News has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking
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