THREE men are making final preparations to a never-been-done before challenge which they will start this weekend.
At 9am on Saturday, the trio from Newbiggin will start their epic challenge of circumnavigating Britain in kayaks in an anti-clockwise direction.
The group, calling themselves ‘Land on our Left’, are aiming to complete it within three months, raising £10,000 for three north east charities.
The challenge has never been done before, due to superstitions around travelling contrary to the sun’s direction and going against the prevailing winds.
And should they complete it, Stuart Leslie, 20, Craig Leslie, 22, and Lee Wilson, 20, would be the youngest team to do so.
They are aiming to raise £10,000 for Newcastle-based Keyfund Project, which helps support disadvantaged youngsters by investing in their ideas, and also for the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) and Kidney Research UK.
So far they have raised more than £1,000 for their charities and £2,500 towards costs after holding a folk night in The Old Ship in Newbiggin and completing a 136-mile coast-to-coast cycle challenge.
Stuart said: “The idea to do the circumnavigation originated from attending an inspirational presentation given three years ago by the current record holder who did it clockwise.
“The aim is to complete it within 90 days however, due to weather conditions this may not be possible, but that is our ultimate aim.
“This is something that is a real challenge to all of us; we know that we will be taking risks and making sacrifices but once we have achieved our goal we’ll feel amazing.
“And to make it really special, if we are able to raise support for our three charities it will all be worth it.”
Craig added: “We are keen to use our experiences and skills, especially those obtained from the challenge, to give something back to the local community and charities that have affected and supported us in the past, and helped us obtain our goal.”
Lee said: “We’ve each been paddling for quite a while now and have worked hard to gain an array of skills in that time. We are looking forward to putting those skills to the test on our trip.”
Sponsorship has been secured from Sea Kayaking UK, which is equipping each of the three with a customised kayak. Lendal is supplying paddling equipment, Reed Chilli Cheaters has donated clothing, and Trackaphone has supplied mobile phones and racking devices.
The group will set off from Newbiggin beach at 9am on Saturday and head north with the aim of completing 20 to 40 miles a day.
For more information or to make a donation visit www.withlandonourleft.co.uk
Follow their progress on Twitter via @LandOnOurLeft
• A video of this story is available at www.newspostleader.co.uk/video