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Kayaking pair face gruelling five days

TWO members of the Shannon Kayak Club are getting ready to undertake a 250km kayak trip in aid of Bunratty Search and Rescue.

Richie Sunderland, who is also involved in the Search and Rescue group, and Mike Kelleher will be leaving the source of Shannon, at Dowra, Leitrim this Thursday and will paddle as far as Lough Allen.

On day two, the pair aim to go as far as Albert Loch, while on day three they will reach Portumna. Day four will see them reach Killaloe and, on the final day, next Tuesday the journey will conclude at the Bunratty Search and Rescue Boathouse.

Richie told The Clare Champion the trip was going to be a huge challenge.

“It’s 250km and in miles, it’s just over 30 a day. It’s self-supported so all of our food, clothing, equipment, tents and everything else is inside in the kayaks with us, we’re carrying everything with us rather than having it in a following car.”

He said they will be using sea kayaks, which are 18ft long.

The two men’s bodies will take a battering before they find themselves back in Clare once again.

“It’s fairly hard alright, it’s about ten hours’ paddling a day. It’s a 7am start and hopefully each evening we’ll finish between five and seven o’clock and get into our dry clothes, set up camp, get the grub on and then just collapse.”

During the days on the river, they will stop once an hour and will take on board carbohydrates and fluids.
He says that undertaking such a trip could be enjoyable but trying to cover the distance in five days changes matters somewhat.

“It would be [enjoyable], except we’re pushing to do it within the five days, which would be one of the fastest descents so far of the river. We’re hoping to set a new time and hopefully other people will take the challenge up as a fundraiser in the future. Or in better weather.”

As it stands now, the weather forecast is for night-time temperatures of between -3C and -5C.

 

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