Coastline kayak adventure for College of West Anglia students from King's Lynn
PUBLISHED: 10:02 04 March 2011
Two intrepid adventurers are kayaking their way around the country's coastline in a four month journey to raise money for charity.
Russell Belcher and Aaron Price, both 23, created Open Horizons with the aim of using nothing but natural elements to take them and their two-man kayak around the coast in a fundraising epic which began a fortnight ago.
They will be using a specially-designed power kite, when weather conditions allow, to help take some of the strain out of the trip, called the Natural Elements Circumnavigation of Britain, which will last 120 days in total.
The pair, both outdoor instructors set-off from West Mersea, Essex, on February 19 and ten days later had made it safely to Littlehampton, near Bognor Regis, West Sussex.
Mr Price, originally from New Zealand, has been living in King’s Lynn prior to the start of the adventure and met Mr Belcher, who studied at the town’s College of West Anglia (COWA), through their shared passion of paddling.
Both men have a love of outdoor pursuits and decided this was one challenge they could not miss out on.
“We came up with a plan about a year ago. It has been great so far, although the weather has been against us a bit,” said Mr Price.
“People’s reactions have been the biggest thing and everybody has been so willing to help us out. It makes the whole thing so brilliant,” he said.
The duo are carrying a tent with them on the journey but have also been put-up by wellwishers, friends and family along the way.
“People have been letting us stay in the warm and dry. The weather should be getting better soon, so that will help,” said Mr Price.
Preparations for the trip included packing 120 bags of rice and pasta to make sure they had enough to eat during the adventure. Friends and family will also be making “food drops” so the kayakers haven’t been forced to carry all their provisions with them as they paddle round the coastline.
They also received a custom-made two-man kayak from Atlantis, in Canada, who shipped it over to the UK for nothing to help with the adventure. Mr Price has worked outdoors since 2006, including instructing sea kayaking, and said both he and Mr Belcher had wanted to use nothing but the elements to complete their trip.
“We work with the tides and the wind, not against them, and we will be using the power kite when we can. I think it’s the first time anyone will have done this- linked a power kite to the kayak – and we’re really looking forward to the experience,” he said.
During the journey the pair will be about 200 metres off-shore so will have a completely different view of the coastline as they make their way clockwise round the entire country before returning to the starting point in West Mersea.
Mr Belcher, of Braintree, Essex, spent a year at COWA taking a diploma in outdoor activities and is also involved in a team trying to climb the 50 highest peaks in Europe.
The pair have so far raised about £3,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and they hope to raise much more along the way.
The charity was chosen because a close family member of Mr Belcher, of Braintree, Essex, died from the condition.