Paddlers head downriver for charity
HELL On Water pushed off today for a four day kayak paddle from Grafton to Iluka.
Hell On Water is a fund raising event for the Northern Rivers Region Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service.
"Most of our paddlers are locals, north coast locals, but I do have one paddler from Sydney and one from Darwin," organiser Tony Keogh said.
"This is the first year we've done it, I'm new to paddling, and a lot of people here are."
Mr Keogh hopes the paddle will be achievable for fifteen paddlers participating.
"Worst case scenario, we've got a power boat, no one should be left stranded," he said.
"We're jumping in the deep end," Mr Keogh said about the start of the new annual event.
Hell on Water is an offshoot event from Hell on Wheels, a mountain biking fund raiser for the Westpac Helicopter that has run for the past 18 years.
"Its a fantastic opportunity to raise money for the Westpac Helicopter," participant Melissa Howlett said.
Ms Howlett is looking forward to meeting new people or making new friends over the trip from Grafton to Iluka.
"I think it will be extremely challenging but extremely fulfilling," she said about the Hell On Water.
Garry McKenzie is expecting to have a great time during the paddle and has been working hard in preparation for Hell on Water.
"I go to the gym a couple of times a week and I do a bit of cycling," he said.
Mr KcKenzie is a regular kyaker and often rows up and down the canals at Yamba.
Paddlers will have their first overnight stop night at the Ulmara Hotel, before they set off for the Lawrence Tavern on Friday and the Harwood Hotel on Saturday.
They will be holding fund raising raffle each night at their accommodation.
The 15 paddle launched at midday Wednesday at the Prince Street boat ramp, before stopping for afternoon tea at the boat ramp on Kitchener Street.