The 8th Annual Wirral Kayak Challenge event took place on Sunday 18 of July. There were 148 participants, with 122 kayaking and a further 26 paddleboarding their way around the Wirral coast.
The organisers had ideal conditions, with the temperature around 20° and “water was like glass; very still flat and calm with no wind perfect conditions” according to one participant. The kayakers and paddleboarders left the beach at Harrison Drive, New Brighton at 6.45 am, just after high water as the tide was going out. The participants then headed towards the big sandbank behind Hilbre Island.
They arrived arrived at the Hilbre sandbank at approximately 10.30am at low water and they stayed there until around 2pm as tide started to rise. Heading from the Hilbre sandbank towards the Dee Sailing Club slipway at Thurstaston, the participants arrived at roughly 3.30pm.
At Thurstaston, the kayakers and paddleboarders were greeted by their families and supporters. The Dee Sailing Club opened up there bar and facilities for the intrepid (and thirsty!) kayakers and paddleboarders. New Brighton Radio and musical due ‘Mule Train’ welcomed the adventurers to shore.
Being a fund-raising event for Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes and Claire House Children’s Hospice, there were representatives from each organisation at Thurstaston Beach.
Organiser, Mike Dudley said, “With regards sponsor monies, we have received over £7,000! We wont know the exact figure until the end of October, when we have our presentation night to hand over all sponsor monies to both our chosen charities.”
He continued, “We are expecting anywhere between £10,000 and £15,000. All participants have to raise a minimum of £100 per person.”
Mike would like to thank the support crew that made the event possible, “I’d like to give a big shout out to the safety boat crew, friends of mine which are crew from RNLI Hoylake and RNLI West Kirby, Tom Clark, Andy Jackson, Adam Charlie Lloyd, Karl Favager, and another friend of theirs called Gavin. We also had 3 jet skis out on the day as part of safety boat crew.”
Anyone wishing to donate to this years chosen charities can do so at the following links:
- Claire House Children’s Hospice www.justgiving.com/teams/team kayak
- Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes www.justgiving.com/d89bfdec72
The presentation night will take place at the Railway pub, Meols on Saturday night 23 October, where entertainment will be provided by a live band The Shedbrothers.
If you would like to take part in next year’s event, please see the Wirral Kayak Challenge Facebook page
Images credit: Drone photography by Nick Davey, others Wirral Kayak Challenge