Paddling brothers’ charity expedition cut short by vandals in Belgian campsite

2010-07-20 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG brothers Mark Montanarini and Craig Mustard set off on a charity expedition to paddle through the waters of Europe only to have to give up their mission because of vandalism.

On their eighth day of their trip the pair (who were staying at a camp in Belgium) went into town to buy supplies.

On their return they found their camp had been trashed, their tents slashed open and their boat vandalised.

Although they tried to continue their trip by securing a replacement boat, they realised time constraints made it impossible to continue.

The brothers were rasing funds for households orphaned by Aids.

Their plan was to paddle 858 kilometres across France, Belgium and the Netherlands. They dubbed their undertaking “Paddling Against Aids” and pledged to support Keep A Child Alive with the funds they generated.

Setting off on July 1 in France, they expected to reach Amsterdam last week, but they were stopped in Belgium with 300 kilometres to go.

A disappointed Montanarini said their sponsorship was dependent on completed kilometres.

He said he hopes companies and individuals will still support the cause, even though they are unable to finish.

A determined Mustard vowed there will be a “revenge trip” next year.

People wishing to make donations to the cause can SMS their names and contact details to the fundraising co-ordinator at 076 030 5893 or 072 417 1788.

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