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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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Whilst writing last week about open water swimmers Danny Hanlon of Granite Transformations and his friend Bernard Stone – about to embark on a treacherous swim across the Cook Strait – I couldn't help but think that there must be easier ways to raise funds for charity. I jumped out of an airplane years ago for Cancer Research UK and scary as it was making that leap alone (rather than in tandem) after many hours of training at Chelsea Barracks, it was nothing compared to what these two were doing.

I was sad to learn that they were forced to abandon their swim, within just 3.6km of their goal. After almost nine hours, (during which they covered over 35km between them) strong currents, adverse weather conditions, increased tidal flows and a huge fog cloud covering the entire coastline, forced them to give up, rather than face another treacherous eight hours in the Strait.

“Early on in the day, we were making great progress and looked set to reach the other side within nine hours and set the new two-man record,” reports Danny. “The highlights included each of us swimming with a pod of up to 15 dolphins, chasing around us at incredible speeds and clearly looking to see what was going on. Bernie also encountered a giant pack of jellyfish, swimming 100 metres to avoid them, and I was circled by a huge Albatross, looking to have a go at my toes!

“We came close, just an hour from our goal, but that’s open water swimming for you. Challenging, exciting, physically draining, literally sick-making and, in this case, heartbreaking! We now know first-hand why the Cook Strait is considered one of the most dangerous and unpredictable waters in the world.”

Danny’s words got me thinking about what a fantastic industry this is, in terms of people putting their health and sometimes even their lives on the line, to raise money for charity. And that’s not forgetting the companies donating products, furniture and appliances to others in need, and the tradespeople giving up their time to fit them.

Aren't we all part of a great industry!



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Jan Hobbs



22nd January 2016

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