independent

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Californian girl is finding her sea legs in Wexford

AFTER only a few months in Wexford, Californian girl Cara Augustenborg is quickly finding her sea legs. She's not one to be put off by a challenge, and is literally taking to the town like a duck to water with her newly-founded Wexford Sea Kayaking Club.

AFTER only a few months in Wexford, Californian girl Cara Augustenborg is quickly finding her sea legs.

She's not one to be put off by a challenge, and is literally taking to the town like a duck to water with her newly-founded Wexford Sea Kayaking Club.

Of Danish and Irish descent - her mother is from Kerry - Cara is in Wexford with Teagasc at Johnstown, where she is studying for her PHd, about as far removed from UCLA as you can get.

Cara approached the Irish Canoe Union three months ago after deciding she wanted to go sea kayaking, only to discover there wasn't a local club.

'After I spoke to the union, I decided to establish my own club,' said Cara, who is drawing on the expertise of Des Keaney, and his Wicklow-based Deep Blue Sea Kayaks for the club's training courses, the first of which took place last weekend.

'So far I have 32 people signed up to do the courses.. 10 of them signed up for the next one on July 10 and 11. I haven't yet decided on dates for the rest.'

The courses are aimed at over-18s, with the only requirements for participants, the ability to swim and being comfortable in water.

The club, through Deep Blue Sea, will provide the kayaks, wet suits and lifejackets for the two days of training, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10. a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

And at the end of the training, you should have your certification from the Irish Canoe Union, meaning you are capable of going on its trips.

Given the huge rise in interest in adventure sports over the past few years these trips are much in demand and an appropriate qualification is a must.

During the courses, participants must demonstrate an ability to get back into their kayaks after falling out and being reasonable fit is a definite advantage.

Cara hopes that once the Wexford club builds enough impetus it will eventually be able to run its own courses and provide its own kayaks, with key members brought up to the level of being about to teach certified courses themselves.

But for now, she's content just to be out on the water.

'Wexford has a nice big harbour and there's not a lot of boat traffic, so conditions are ideal,' said the 26-year-old, a self-confessed beginner when it comes to kayaks, who expects to be in Wexford for the next two years.

'My mother is from Kerry, but coming to Wexford from LA was still something of a culture shock,' said Cara, who is also a member of Wexford Dance Club and is involved in dressage too, although she says kayaking is her main focus.

'Bringing kayaking to Wexford. That would be a good mark to leave.' Cara can be contacted on (053) 71288 or by E-Mail at caraa@ucla.edu

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