A BISHOPSTOWN native has completed the first-ever full and solo kayak of the River Lee from source to sea.
Colin Wong completed the 90km feat in 13 and a half hours after initially planning to do the route in two days.
Halfway through the attempt on St Patrick’s Day, Colin decided to keep travelling.
The route has never been done before in its entirety and Colin had to navigate his way through two dams and through Cork Harbour in the dark.
The experienced kayaker, who has been involved in the sport all around the world, said he was glad to complete the challenge in his home county.
“The river starts in the Shehy mountains that runs into Gougane Barra Lake. From there it runs down steep rapids, through loads of different lakes, a crazy forest section, through Cork City and then out to sea.
“There’s a section at Ballingeary that hasn’t been run in a kayak before. It had been attempted by someone but they skipped that section.
“Because of my background, I was able to kayak down the rapids and then get into the sea kayak and do the rest of it.
“On the journey, I had to switch from my creek boat into a sea kayak, I had to run rapids in a sea kayak, portage two dams and kayak out of Cork harbour in the dark.
“The River Lee is where it all started for me, and after spending the past 16 years constantly in search of new rivers to run and expeditions to do little did I know that I had a challenging and beautiful one right here on my doorstep. I really hope that more people realise the adventures that can be had here in our beautiful country of Ireland,” he added.
A former student of Coláiste an Spioraid Naoimh and a graduate of UCC in Physical Education and Sports Studies, Colin made headlines in 2015 when he finished second in the prestigious Liffey Descent marathon canoe race.
In 2017, he completed a 2,000 kilometre, 70-day kayaking trip across the Persian Gulf.