Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Canoeists do the 'Full Nelson'!

Four local canoeists plan to paddle from Cape Trafalgar to Gibraltar to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and raise money for charity.

Weather permitting, they hope to set off in the early hours of July 26 and follow the Spanish coastline down from the cape, through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Bay of Gibraltar.

Arthur Asquez, one of the canoeists involved, is “very optimistic” that with the right weather conditions they will be able to complete the trip within seven hours. On average the team will travel at around four knots but, given the right tides, seagoing kayaks can achieve speeds of up to 10 knots.

The four, who are all experienced canoeists, will not be accompanied by a safety boat but will be well equipped to deal with any eventuality.

“Kayaks should be able to rescue each other,” Mr Asquez said.

During the first leg they will be travelling about four miles from the coast in order to benefit from the tide and currents, but for the remainder of the journey they will mostly be paddling closer to the shoreline.

The trip, which Mr Asquez has nicknamed ‘Nelson’s Last Voyage’ to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar, will raise money for two charities, Rainbow Ward and Wireless for the Blind. It follows another expedition last year across the Strait of Gibraltar from Ceuta to the Rock.

Accompanying Mr Asquez on the voyage from Cape Trafalgar will be Norman Garcia, Eugenio Pons and Sigurd Haveland.

The four are members of the Gibraltar Canoe Association and are keen to promote the sport, which has many different disciplines to suit all tastes. The association will hold an open day on July 23 this month in the Piazza. Previous events geared at allowing youngsters to try canoeing have proved extremely popular. The association is keen to secure waterfront premises where it can store its equipment and expand its activities and membership.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the four canoeists on the Trafalgar voyage should contact Mr Asquez on 55076 during the day and 43896 during the evening.

Note: Gibraltar International dialling code: 350 - If dialling from Spain: 9567 (followed by the number)

Related Articles & Links:

23 April 2005 - Gibraltar commemorates 200 years since the Battle of Trafalgar

Trafalgar celebrations announced

200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

The Battle of TrafalgarBattle of Trafalgar at Amazon.co.uk

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