Kayakers complete D-Day charity challenge

CHALLENGE: The Normandy Klepper team pictured with their kayaks

CHALLENGE: The Normandy Klepper team pictured with their kayaks

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A TEAM of six raised thousands for charity and remembered D-Day veterans as they completed a charity challenge.

The team rowed Klepper kayak boats 120 miles over 36 hours between Portland and Arro-manche, France, to reach their destination of Gold beach.

The beach was one of the six used by the Allies in their D-Day landings 70 years ago and the intrepid kayakers said they were doing the challenge to pay tribute to all those who served heroically on D-Day.

Ben Collins, Dwayne Cadwallader, Colin Richardson, Matt Allmond, Richard Bentley and Stuart Gilks started the challenge once before but had to call it off due to bad weather.

However, the team did not give up and got to Gold beach in Normandy after spending 36 hours at sea.

Richard Bentley said: “The weather was good, it really helped us.

“On Thursday night we had five to six hours of bad weather. We just went and sat on the safety boat and then got back in the canoes as soon as the weather got back to normal.”

The team were doing the challenge for six different charities and hope to have raised about £25,000 to be split between them all. Seeing the beach at the end of the challenge was an amazing feeling Mr Bentley said and made them all think what the veterans of D-Day had gone through 70 years beforehand.

Mr Bentley said there had been a tear in their eyes when the team made it to Gold beach.

He said: “It was hard work. The men that did it 70 years ago had it a lot harder though. We were doing it to remember them.”

The team wanted to thank Portland Marina and local boat owners Tim and Eddie for all their help.

For more details on how to donate visit normandyklepper challenge.co.uk/donate

Comments (1)

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5:47pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Tinker2 says...

Their first attempt ended in fiasco, but lads your 2nd attempt was epic!
Well done, that's one 'ell of an offshore paddle!!
Their first attempt ended in fiasco, but lads your 2nd attempt was epic! Well done, that's one 'ell of an offshore paddle!! Tinker2
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