Kayak fundraiser has been put off for a year

Richard Hunt
Richard Hunt
HMS Diamond

Picture: Shaun Roster/www.shaunroster.com

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HE’S determined to paddle around the coasts of Britain and wants to make sure he has the right team supporting him.

That’s why Richard Hunt, a Royal Navy veteran amputee, has postponed his fundraising challenge for 12 months.

The 43-year-old had set off in April in an attempt to kayak around the coast of Britain and break the solo kayaking distance record in aid of the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association.

But after only 11 days, Mr Hunt, of Fareham, who had reached Devon, had to return as his shore team decided they could no longer support him.

Despite three weeks of solid campaigning to find replacements, only support in Scotland could be found.

Mr Hunt said: ‘It’s very frustrating as I have been working hard on this for 16 months.

‘I need a shore team to help me get the kayak in and out of the sea, keep track of me and help me out.

‘I really tried to get a replacement, but time was pushing on and I didn’t just want to do half a challenge.’

Instead, Mr Hunt hopes to come back next year after finding a new shore team and training with them.

‘Ideally it would be great if I could find someone with a yacht to support me on the journey.

‘It means they would be able to follow me in the water, and it would save money on accommodation.

‘That may not be possible, but what I absolutely need is a shore team.

‘They would need to be free between May and August next year.

‘But also I want to do training with them over a few weekends before the challenge to work out and prepare for different scenarios.

‘It is frustrating that I couldn’t go ahead as planned, especially things had been built up and I was comfortable paddling.

‘But I’m determined to complete the challenge next year.’

He is doing the challenge to give something back to the charity that helped him after he was injured while serving with the military.

He had 20 operations from 1988 until 1991 and eventually lost his left leg.

To find out more about helping out, visit go to thegreatpaddleround.co.uk.