The intrepid Breakfast team from Cool FM yesterday (7 June) completed their most demanding charity challenge ever, paddleboarding from Portpatrick in Scotland to Bangor, Co Down, and raising £20,000 in the process.
It took Pete Snodden, Paulo Ross and Rebecca McKinney a gruelling nine hours to complete the Irish Sea crossing over 22 miles, with little rest, many blisters and unforeseen choppy weather conditions in between. The delighted and slightly emotional trio landed on Bangor’s shoreline together just before 6pm on Tuesday evening.
The £20,000 raised so far through the Paddleboarding Challenge will help support local children and families impacted by the spiralling fuel and cost of living crisis.
Speaking about the once in a lifetime experience Pete Snodden said,
“This is hands down the toughest challenge I’ve ever undertaken, but I’m so glad we were able to raise much needed money for such an inspiring charity here in Northern Ireland. When you see how families have been affected by poverty it really does put things into perspective and makes every minute out on the ocean worthwhile.”
Rebecca McKinney who was in disbelief about completing the challenge added,
“We did it! 9 hours later I’m pretty speechless and that is saying something. It was without a doubt the most physical and emotional challenge I’ve ever experienced. This was a massive team effort, and I couldn’t have made it without the guys supporting me. Seeing hundreds of people gather in Bangor to cheer us across the finish line was something I’ll never forget.”
Reflecting on reaching the halfway point, 10 miles into their journey Paulo Ross said,
“We reached the halfway stage and knew then there’s no turning back. It was both surreal and terrifying to think we had reached this point but hearing how much had been raised gave us the motivation we needed to keep going.”
Throughout the challenge, listeners were able to watch their adventure live from Cool FM’s Facebook page. Some eagle-eyed viewers even spotted that the presenters had been joined by a humpback whale at one stage along the journey.
Donations to support the fundraising initiative can still be made by visiting coolfm.co.uk/paddle.