Kayakers, paddleboarders, surf skiers, and rowers will complete a loop of the island this weekend to raise money for a child sexual abuse prevention charity.

The ninth annual Kayak for Kids on Saturday and Sunday [June 8 and 9] is in aid of Saving Children and Revealing Secrets [SCARS].

Organisers are hoping for a bumper turnout, including corporate relay teams, with the 40-mile route starting at Somerset Long Bay at 8 am on Saturday and finishing at Clearwater Beach in St David’s, from where participants will begin on Sunday at 8 am and return to Somerset Long Bay.

They have also added a “Hamilton Harbour Loop” route on Sunday, launching at 1 pm from the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club [RHADC], which is shorter and easier, allowing children to participate.

Several support boats and jet skis, including the Bermuda Coast Guard, will follow participants during the event, which has been moved from September to June.

A barbecue for participants and family will be held at the RHADC at 4 pm on Sunday.

Funds raised by corporate sponsorship and individuals will support Scars’ training and awareness activities.

Debi Ray-Rivers, Scars founder and executive director, said the charity has trained almost a quarter of the island’s adult population in the prevention of sexual harm to children.

“We want Scars to be at the forefront of people’s minds and for them to realise how important it is in protecting our child from sexual harm,” Ms Ray-Rivers told Bernews.

Jerry Rivers, a Scars board director, said the “Hamilton Harbour Loop” will open the event up for more participants, including some of the island’s Special Olympians.

“It will be less taxing than having to go all the way around,” he said. “People who can’t tackle the whole island have this option, a three-hour paddle, not too difficult.”

He added: “It will be our first time in the harbour, and we will have some flags on Front Street. Maybe we can get some more awareness out of that.”

To sign up, visit kayak4kids.bm.

Update 2.04pm: A Government spokesperson said, “Please be advised that on Saturday, June 8, 2024, there will be a SCARS Kayak for Kids Fundraising Event. Beginning at 8:00 AM from Somerset Long Bay, participants in kayaks and paddle boards will either paddle North Shore or South Shore depending on wind and wave conditions to Clearwater Beach.

“On Sunday June 9th 2024, participants will paddle from Clearwater beginning at 8:00 AM back to Somerset Long Bay; preferrable in the opposite direction from day one so as to circumnavigate the island over the two days.

“There will be support boats [including the Royal Bermuda Coast Guard] and jet skis accompanying the paddlers over the two days.

“A second event is being held on Sunday, June 9, 2024, wherein kayakers will depart from The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club at 1:00 PM and paddle to the South and West of Nelly island and return to the Dinghy Club through Paradise Lakes keeping Hinson’s Island to the North. We anticipate that the event will be concluded by 4:00 PM on Sunday. There will be support boats in the Harbour accompanying the kayakers.”

Bernews