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The GB360 Team are thrilled to say that donations to our charitable causes have now reached over £5,000 – and we haven’t even set off yet!  Thank you to all of you for your generosity.

Just a reminder that all of the money that you donate goes direct to the charities. The costs of the expedition itself are being met by the three of us, with some generous support of gear and food from a number of organisations – visit our Friends and Supporters page for details.

If you haven’t sponsored us yet, and want to, then click on the link on the right. We are supporting five very worthy causes and whatever you can give will make a big difference – thank you!

Andy, Geoff and Mike

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As is so often the case with challenges like this, it all started over a beer.
Geoff and I had just spent a challenging day out on the water paddling between Slapton Sands and Dartmouth.  We had set out that morning with the benefits of all the elements – wind (Force 6), tide and swell.  It was exciting to say the least as we averaged 8 knots into Dartmouth.
Of course with some Ying you also get some Yang.  We could have called the return trip off and got a taxi back to pick up the cars, but we decided to slog it out against the strengthening winds.  It took us 45 minutes to get to Dartmouth, but 2.5 hours to get back!  We both landed almost vertical in our kayaks as the dumping surf got the better of us.  It was one of those days that you don’t enjoy at the time, but as soon as you land, you are filled with a mix of emotions – relief you survived but thrilled that you learnt so much in doing so.

Wish these these things were lighter...

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Those awfully nice people at HP Enterprise Security Services (HP ESS) have just donated £250 to the great causes we are raising money for as we paddle round this little island of ours. From Mike, Geoff and myself – a big thank you to HP ESS and to all those who have sponsored us so far.

We’ve now met the first £1,000 milestone and still more than 3 months before we set off!

Just a reminder we are raising money for 5 of our favourite charities and hoping to top £10,000 by the end of our trip.

  • Help for Heroes –  a national charity supporting those wounded in the service of our country since 9/11.
  • Over The Wall – a national children’s charity who provide life-changing activity camps for children and young people aged 8-17 who are affected by serious and life limiting illnesses.
  • The Christian Adventure Centre – offering amazing residential, camping adventure activity experience for schools, youth groups, church or family groups.
  • The West Of England MS Therapy Centre – providing support and relief of symptoms to people with Multiple Sclerosis and their supporters.
  • The Ideas Partnership – an NGO stimulating and supporting educational, cultural and sustainability projects in Kosovo.

You can make a donation by clicking here www.sponsor-me.org/midlifekayak

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The round Britain team are absolutely thrilled to announce that Kokatat, have agreed to be the official sponsor for our paddling gear.  For those that don’t know the company – it focuses on paddle sport clothing and equipment and has an enviable reputation for quality. Based in California since it was established 40 years ago, and named after the Native American word for ‘into the water’, they are easily the most highly regarded manufacturer of kayaking kit.

When we were seeking advice from some of the UK’s top sea kayakers about which kit which should go for, Kokatat was the name that kept being mentioned. Both Geoff and I have purchased some of their kit before and the advice we got reinforced our own views that we ought not to use anything else on this trip.  With 100 days and 2,500 miles of paddling – the last thing you want to worry about is your kit letting you down.

Once the new kit arrives we’ll post some photos, tell you about how it shapes up in training and on the expedition itself.  Can’t wait!

 

 

 

 

 

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My top tip for today – if you ever want to get great service and great food – make sure you go with a friend who is also a great food critic and journalist.

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A huge congratulations to Jane, Catherine, Amanda and Amanda for successfully completing the Trailwalker 2011 challenge.

Trailwalker UK 2011 is the original 100km team challenge, across the South Downs with the Gurkhas. Four people, one goal, 100 kilometres in under 30 hours. An incredible experience combining endurance, navigation, determination and teamwork and that’s just the support crews!

The team were raising money for Oxfam – make a donation here.

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