IT’S not a case of who’s taking the horse to France, but who is taking the jetski, as two Clare men endeavour to jetski their way across the English Channel for charity.
Darren Hayes, who in June 2010 became the first man to circumnavigate Ireland on a jetski, along with Liam Cleary will take on the mammoth challenge crossing 2,000 nautical miles in September.
The car dealers were both involved in the 2010 charity event, but Mr Cleary missed out on completing it because of a back injury.
The pair are now gearing themselves up for a round trip from Liscannor to France, aiming to complete the task in seven days.
“It will be tough going, but we’re positive about it. The last time people reckoned it couldn’t be done, and we did it. This time we’re going a step further,” Darren told The Clare Champion.
Three charities are set to benefit from the fundraising effort; TLC4CF, the William Winder Rainbow Foundation and the Burren Sub Aqua Search and Recovery.
Darren explained, “The last time we did something like this we travelled around Ireland in aid of TLC4CF. A lot of charities have fun runs and cycles, but we wanted to do something different. This time we decided to raise money for them again and they are looking for funds for their new Cystic Fibrosis adult unit in Limerick. And the other charities do great work so we wanted to show our support and get awareness out there.
“We both wanted to do something again and we were talking about it for the last few months. We were thinking of going from Liscannor to Dublin and then cycling back but the logistics just didn’t work out.
“Then someone threw it out there about going to France, it was around the time of the horse meat scandal so that was the joke about bringing the horse to France. So that was it.”
Both Darren and Liam have begun training for the ambitious voyage and they are optimistic that they are up to the challenge.
“We’re doing about four or five days a week, we’re in the gym, out on the jet ski and cycling to build up the back and neck. It’s going to be rough going out there and we won’t be able to communicate with each other.
“We’re very hopeful that we will do it, the distance will be the big thing though. The last time we did one full leg in a day where we were in the water at five in the morning and we were finished at five or six that evening. This time we will be doing up to 250 miles a day. But if we get a break in the weather we reckon we will be over and back within the seven days.”
The pair have also issued an appeal for sponsorship of the fuel for the journey.
“We don’t want to take money out of funds for the charity. What we are hoping is for some company to come on board to give us funding for the fuel. It could cost somewhere between €8,000 and €10,000 just on fuel to do this and that is money we would rather see go to the charities.”
For further details visit their Facebook page Ireland to Franch Charity Jetski.