Duo prepare to kayak across English Channel

Uncle and nephew Richard Wright, 46, from Slipton, and Brad Porch, 15, from Desborough, are kayaking across the English Channel to raise money for Help for Heroes
Uncle and nephew Richard Wright, 46, from Slipton, and Brad Porch, 15, from Desborough, are kayaking across the English Channel to raise money for Help for Heroes

A teenager and his uncle are preparing to paddle miles across the English Channel for charity next month.

Brad Porch, 15, will be joined by his uncle Richard Wright in raising money for Help for Heroes by kayaking across the sea to France.

The venture, from the Dungeness headland in Kent to Boulogne, takes place in the week of Monday, July 28.

The exact date will be determined that week, taking account of weather and sea conditions.

Brooke Weston Academy pupil Brad, of Desborough, said: “This is the furthest I have ever done in one go. It’s 27 miles – the most I have done in one go before this was 10 miles.

“I spend most of my time on white water, I like the excitement that comes with that.

“We are doing lots of training. I am quite excited.

“I know there are a lot of things that could go wrong, but that’s why we are training.”

Richard, who lives in Slipton, near Thrapston, is a level three kayak instructor. Both he and Brad are members of the Packers canoeing and kayaking club in Peterborough. The 46-year-old, who works for Sawford Engineering in Corby, said: “It was suggested as a laugh and before we knew it, it was booked.

“On Saturday we did 17 miles in four hours, which was our longest to date.

“Brad has never paddled on the sea, but we are both quite experienced on white water.”

He said the tides and negotiating some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world – with tankers and ferries obviously having priority – would determine how long their crossing would take.

But they expect it to take between six and 10 hours.

And although a support vessel will be keeping an eye on the pair from a distance, Richard added: “I think the biggest challenge is going to be the isolation.”

He has extended his thanks to Cambridge Weight Plan, which has donated the money required to cover the cost of the safety boat.

The kayaking pair have chosen to support Help for Heroes because of the links their family and friends have with the military. Brad’s father Clive is a retired soldier who served in the first Gulf War.

You can sponsor Richard and Brad by visiting their fundraising page.

You can also leave a message of support by searching for the Cross Channel Kayak 2014 page on Facebook.