Kayakers all set for D-Day Channel challenge

IN MEMORY: Normandy Klepper Challenge team for D-Day, Stuart Gilks, front left, and Richard Bentley, back row, Ben Collins, Colin Richardson, Matt Allmond and Dwayne Cadwallader

IN MEMORY: Normandy Klepper Challenge team for D-Day, Stuart Gilks, front left, and Richard Bentley, back row, Ben Collins, Colin Richardson, Matt Allmond and Dwayne Cadwallader

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PORTLAND will be the starting point for a kayaking challenge between England and France to commemorate D-Day and raise money for five charities.

Starting today Ben Collins, Dwayne Cadwallader, Colin Richardson, Matt Allmond, Richard Bentley and Stuart Gilks will row Klepper boats 120 miles over 40 hours between Portland and Arromanche, France.

Their journey pays tribute to those who served on D-Day and they aim to arrive on Gold Beach in France on the 70th anniversary of the operations on Friday.

Stuart said: “We haven’t really done much training in the boats because most of us live abroad so we’ve just been trying to keep fit.

“I don’t think anyone has rowed so far in these boats until now so it will be difficult. We’re in the boats for two nights and there are lots of unknowns, from ergonomics to sea conditions and safety.”

“The primary purpose is to pay tribute to the men who left England 70 years ago. It’s a very personal tribute for us, Britain has a great tradition of commemoration and in a humble way we are doing something similar.”

They aim to set off from Portland Marina between 1.30pm and 4pm today. For more details on how to donate to the cause visit normandyklepperchallenge.co.uk/donate

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