THREE kayakers are celebrating after becoming the first to complete an epic sea adventure.
Brothers Stuart and Craig Leslie and Lee Wilson spent an exhausting 95 days kayaking 2,600 miles around Britain – in an anti-clockwise direction.
The three friends – who all took up the sport at Wansbeck Paddle Sports Club, where they continue to train – were given a heroes reception by friends, family and officials as they arrived back at Newbiggin on Wednesday, August 29.
They became the first people to kayak around Britain anti-clockwise, and also the young team to achieve the feat.
Lee, from North Seaton, and Newbiggin pair Stuart and Craig set off from Newbiggin beach on May 26 aiming to raise £10,000 for three north east charities – Keyfund, the Children’s Heart Fund (CHUF) and Kidney Research UK.
And so far, the group – who called themselves ‘With Land on our left’ – have raised £2,373.
Stuart said: “The trip has been challenging and we’ve had some eye-opening moments, from almost being shot at when we drifted into MOD training grounds to seagulls stealing our food supplies, but we wouldn’t change it for the world especially when we see how much we’ve raised so far for our chosen charities.
“We’ve met some amazing people along the way and we’d like to thank everyone that supported us in offering us a bed for the night, food and a hot shower and to everyone that has donated money so far to help us in reaching our fundraising goal.”
The mission formed part of the group’s progression through the Keyfund process.
Keyfund is a charitable enterprise, which helps support disadvantaged youngsters by investing in their ideas.
Groups plan, design and bid for funding for their projects in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style approach. The process helps young people to build confidence and grow aspirations, and self-esteem, as well as developing 12 valuable life-skills.
Now that the trio are home, they are planning to officially launch the ‘With Land on our Left’ organisation which will support other youngsters looking to take up similar challenges.
They are also planning to visit several schools to inspire other youngsters to believe in their dreams.
And Stuart, Craig and Lee will give a presentation on their phenomenal trip at Keyfund’s 20th anniversary celebration, being held in Newcastle on October 20.
For more information or to attend the 20th anniversary celebration email firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate to ‘With Land on Our Left’ visit www.withlandonourleft.co.uk