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Keith Breslauer Paddles His Own Canoe With Royal Marines Across The English Channel For Charity

Keith Breslauer PR

Keith Breslauer is the founder and Managing Director of Patron Capital, a UK based private equity company with about US$3.4 billion (Euros 2.5 billion) under management.

The firm invests in real estate opportunities and private businesses in what is termed the middle-market, with equity investments typically of between US$40-120 million (Euros 30-90 million). The firm’s current portfolio includes investments in the Powerleague five-a-side football centres, Generator Hostels and CALA Homes.

To relieve the pressures of the private equity world, which can be considerable notwithstanding the available comforts that derive from the lucrative fee structures the industry enjoys, Keith Breslauer likes to face the elements of nature. He is both an avid skier and experienced mountain climber. More recently he has also become a big fan of sea kayaking as well, and in fact by now is already pretty good at it.

He would have to be as he has just participated in the crossing of the English Channel in sea kayaks for charity, to help raise money for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust. The elite force is celebrating its 350th anniversary this year and the Trust has arranged a series of extreme challenges for some of the current members of the force, retired members and its many civilian supporters. The goal is to help to raise money for soldiers, active or retired, who may be facing difficulties arising out of their combat experience.

Keith Breslauer Marine Challange PR

For this penultimate challenge in the series, Breslauer joined a team of Royal Marines, both retired and still active, as the only non-military person on board and they have just completed an 86 nautical mile, or about 100 regular miles, sea kayaking crossing of the English Channel.

The crossing altogether took about 30 hours from start to finish, battling a steady chop along the way and with nothing but their paddles to both drive them forward and to use to keep them upright. Regular kayaks are not that stable even in river waters, and sea kayaks are not much better. Accordingly it takes great skill by their canoeists to manoeuvre them safely with all the motions of the sea – whether tides, currents, wind and waves – to contend with, let alone the wakes from any ships that might be passing.

Altogether six Marines in three sea kayaks who have participated in the other challenges as well, backed by a significant support team of 24 qualified kayakers, including Breslauer, plus a landing craft for operational support, all set out to complete the 86 nautical mile trip and the team has indeed just landed safely at Eastney beach at Southsea in Hampshire.

The group had set off from Port en Bessin in Normandy, where the Royal Marines had taken part in the D-Day landings in 1944. A spokesman for the Royal Marines said, “The start and finish hold great significance for the Commandos, ” adding “Port en Bessin was where 47 Commando successfully stormed and captured the German-held port on 6 June 1944, and the beach at Eastney is where the Cockleshell heroes trained and is now home of the Royal Marines Museum.”

Keith Breslauer Marine Challange 19

As an integral part of the team, Keith Breslauer certainly has just had an experience different to one of his regular days at the office, that’s for sure. Starting again on Monday the final phase of the challenge begins, especially for the core group of six marines who have participated in all legs of the series, and calls for a 1, 664 kilometre run around Britain. I imagine Breslauer himself will sit this one out though, no doubt fulfilled by the kayak adventure.

A long time supporter of the Royal Marines charities, Breslauer has also previously taken part in other extreme events with them, including the climbing of the near–vertical ‘Nose’ route of the El Capitan granite monolith in Yosemite National Park, California. Already an experienced skier and mountaineer, to help prepare for this Channel crossing Breslauer also recently participated in a 26 mile London Kayakathon on the River Thames in April.

With a goal for the Marines’ charity of raising about US$420, 000 (£250, 000) with the challenge series, with Keith Breslauer’s help the challenge is already well on its way to doing so, though additional contributions can still be made directly online at: www.1664challenge.co.uk

The Royal Marines themselves were honoured to have a guy “in mufti” as a member of their kayak team, and even noted on the official Royal Marine web site that he has taken to kayaking like a “duck to water.”

 

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