ICOM UK is pleased to be contributing three IC-M31s VHF radios to the participants of 'The Thames 100 Mile Non Stop Kayak challenge'; the latest fundraising endeavour of a dedicated group of sports enthusiasts from High Wycombe. The 10-strong team are hoping to raise £20,000 for the charity BDF Newlife by kayaking 100 miles down the Thames non-stop from Cricklade, North Wiltshire to Marlow in Buckinghamshire; a feat that will take about 30 hours.
ICOM UK is pleased to be contributing three IC-M31s VHF radios to the participants of ‘The Thames 100 Mile Non Stop Kayak challenge’; the latest fundraising endeavour of a dedicated group of sports enthusiasts from High Wycombe. The 10-strong team are hoping to raise £20,000 for the charity BDF Newlife by kayaking 100 miles down the Thames non-stop from Cricklade, North Wiltshire to Marlow in Buckinghamshire; a feat that will take about 30 hours.
The team has grown substantially since 1987 when Geoff Mansfield was approached by his 12 year old son Toby with the intention of raising money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute. Toby had witnessed a yachtsman being rescued from the Solent by the Yarmouth lifeboat; he was so impressed that he felt he wanted to contribute in some small way. As a consequence Toby, together with a school friend, walked around the Isle of Wight, a feat they would replicate twice in the next few years, helping to raise over £12,000. In 2006 the lads were at it again, when a team of seven cycled 240 miles; from Holmer Green to Portsmouth, then caught the ferry to the Isle of Wight, cycled around the Island, caught the ferry back to Portsmouth then cycled back to Holmer Green. The journey was achieved in less than 24 hours and raised £14,000 for the Birth Defects Foundation.
Between Cricklade and Marlow there are some 30 locks. It is estimated that just going through locks will take over 5 hours of the challenge. In many cases the team will have to carry their kayaks over land, around the locks. However in some places it will be too steep for the team to get out and carry the canoes, so they will have to paddle through the locks. Ideally the crew will paddle down the river straight into the lock, close the gates and open the sluices, then open the down-river gates and paddle away.
When asked about this element of the challenge, the organiser Geoff Mansfield commented, ‘This is where the ICOM radios will come in. We plan to have a dinghy with an outboard motor escorting the flotilla all the way down, primarily for safety reasons but also to maintain contact with two shore-based cars. As the flotilla approaches a lock, the escorting dinghy will radio ahead and hopefully arrange to have the lock gates open for us. There is also the need to summon instant assistance in case of emergency. You will appreciate that instant communication is vital, hence the need for the ICOM radios.’
BDF Newlife is the UK’s leading child health research and care charity, aiming to tackle inborn conditions through research, services, grants and awareness. They provide support for children affected by inborn conditions, otherwise known as birth defects and their families. In addition, the charity funds and conducts research into curing babies born with severe health conditions, all with no government funding.
ICOM UK wishes the best of luck to Toby, Kev, Matty, Oli, Sam, Tim, Craig, James, Rich, Rich and Geoff!