A SOUTH AFRICAN entrepreneur who decided to circumnavigate Ireland in a canoe to raise money for a Letterkenny-based cancer charity “on a whim”, completed his mission last Friday.
Clyde Barendse came to Ireland for the first time three weeks ago to visit his friend Sarah Kelly in Dublin. He had first arrived in England where he met up with friends in Brighton and to watch the Rugby World Cup. However, following the Springboks’ defeat Clyde set out to find a way to pass the days.
“This was a spontaneous initiative but I did leave South Africa looking for a mission bringing my paddle. Over Sunday morning coffee in Brighton I heard the Liffey Descent was on I had planned to see Sarah in Dublin, so things lined up,” he explained.
While he was taking part in the Liffey Descent, Clyde heard about circumnavigation of Ireland being quite a common occurrence. He set out to break a record, solo, in a type of kayak called a surfski, the first time it’s ever been attempted.
Clyde is well known in South Africa for his role in the Mamu Loman Federation. “We have been active for over 12 years doing various adventures and challenges that test peoples perceived limitations. Often there is an obscure element in this case near winter in Ireland!”
In attempting to circumnavigate the island of Ireland, Clyde wanted to raise money for a local charity. Shortly before he set off from Mayo, a chance conversation in Galway opened his eyes to the Good and New Charity in Letterkenny which runs a bus for cancer patients between Donegal and Galway.
His friend Sarah told the Donegal News: “Clyde is doing this to raise money for Good and New after hearing that there are no cancer treatment facilities north of Dublin or Galway, and the charity doesn’t receive any government funding. This kind of fund-raising is imperative to their existence and we are hoping for as much public support as possible.”
Clyde set off from Mayo on October 12 and arrived back into Roonah Pier last Friday.
More information can be found at www.coastalchallenge.ie and donations can be made on the website www.idonate.ie/coastalchallenge.ie