CANOEING enthusiasts took to the water to help a daring paddler on his 700-mile charity voyage.
David Penk arrived in Huddersfield yesterday by navigating the Narrow Canal as part of his canoe tour of Britain.
Mr Penk, 50, of Surrey, hopes to raise cash for Help for Heroes, which provides support for veteran military personnel.
David enjoyed plain sailing as he and his wife, Joanne paddled from Wakefield to Mirfield in 90 minutes.
He’ll be enjoying a well- earned rest with his new grandson at the Travellers Rest campsite, Meltham, today.
But David, who has been sleeping by the water’s edge most nights, faces a much tougher challenge tomorrow as he pilots his canoe up Huddersfield Narrow Canal to the Standedge Tunnel.
The seven-mile uphill stretch of canal has numerous locks meaning David would have to carry his canal and equipment from lock to lock – a process called ‘portaging’.
Thankfully members of Pennine Canoe Club (PCC), based in Mirfield, will be doing the portaging to keep David afloat on his journey which will take in Manchester, Macclesfield, Stoke, Birmingham and Oxford on the way back to Surrey.
Mr Penk, who started his trip on July 9, hopes to arrive home in three weeks.
The club, which has members across West Yorkshire, will be accompanying David along the towpath from Huddersfield to Marsden.
PCC secretary and coach Viv Kendrick said: “I think it’s a fantastic journey for a really good cause and we hope we can do everything to help. We’re definitely looking forward to Sunday.
David, an IT technician at a private school, said: “I’ve been attacked by swans and I’ve had to carry my canoe over high locks.
“It’s going to be a challenge up the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. I knew the Huddersfield section would be hard but I’m up to it.
“You come across a lot of challenges, but when you come across them you work with them.
But he added: “All along the way I’ve had help from all sorts of people. It’s been fantastic.
“People have been giving me cups of tea and bacon sandwiches. Someone even let me camp in his garden.”
For more about David’s journey and to sponsor him visit: www.canoeandcamp.co.uk/H4H.htm