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Bradley kayaks the Channel

Monday 8th September 2014 by C. Freeman

Year 11 student Bradley Porch successfully kayaked across the English Channel taking just 4 hours 48 minutes to cover the 27 nautical miles. Bradley and his uncle have, so far, raised around £2,500 for Help for Heroes by their exploits.

They set off at daybreak on 30 July from Dungeness power station. Bradley said: ‘At first it was choppy and a bit scary as we had waves of up to 10ft breaking over us. In a normal kayak if you capsize you can roll back but our boat was bigger so we would have had to swim, but luckily we didn’t capsize. When we got to the shipping lanes the conditions calmed down a bit. We were not allowed to cross the French shipping lanes so we were transported across on our support boat, a rib. We travelled further up the coast before getting back in the sea so we paddled the same distance as if we had gone straight across without the detour.

‘We were expecting to do the crossing in seven hours. We did it faster because we had massive waves to begin with so we paddled quite aggressively to get clear. I wouldn’t do it again because it was boring. As we went across we came within two or three miles of ships but that is classed as close because they are generally moving at a large rate of knots. I think that we were the eighth team of kayakers to cross the Channel this year. It was hard work but worth it. We had about an hour in France and then we came back on the rib, going at 40 knots over massive waves so it was painful! I felt OK on the day, but the next day I was really hurting! I wouldn’t do it again but we have discussed perhaps crossing the Irish Sea, though that is just an idea at this stage!’

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