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Offaly woman seeks to fly Irish flag in adventure sport challenge

Story by Tom Kelly

Friday, 21st November, 2008 10:00am

Killurin woman Francine Meehan has been selected to compete in the National Selections of the Land Rover G4 Challenge, one of the world"s most gruelling 4x4 driving and adventure events.

The National Selections are taking place on Sunday 30th November and Monday 1st December at Eastnor Castle, Ledbury in the UK.

Francine is one of 24 competitors who will brave the elements as she takes part in adventure activities including kayaking, mountain biking, orienteering and off-road driving.

There are sixteen men and eight women all vying for four places in the International Selections, where one man and one woman will be chosen to represent Ireland at the Challenge Finals in Mongolia.

The 24 men and women from around the country have been chosen from over 100 applicants to take one step closer to the four-week world adventure that is helping to generate more than €1.5m for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The group is being flown to Eastnor Castle near Birmingham in England where they will be put through two days of physical and aptitude challenges including extreme 4x4 off-roading, navigation, kayaking, abseiling and overnight camping among its many activities.

The National Selections are a test of initiative, strategic thinking and team spirit as well as physical fitness, sporting skills and driving ability. The Challenge is designed to test every aspect of the competitor"s character, demanding the flexibility to work as a team.

Following the national selection event two men and two women will be chosen to go through to the International selections in February.

From that event the Irish team of one man and one woman will take part in the Global Challenge Finals, competing against 17 other nations.

The Finals of this ultimate global adventure will take place during 2009 in the most sparsely populated independent country on the planet - Mongolia. A blend of terrain offering arid steppes, mountains and the extreme climate of one of the world"s largest deserts, the Gobi, makes Mongolia a natural fit with the Land Rover G4 Challenge.

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