THEY are more than 70 miles from the sea.

But that didn’t stop Huddersfield becoming part of a West Yorkshire crew who sailed to a victory in a charity challenge.

Despite being a landlocked station, West Yorkshire One’s team were hailed overall event winners in the annual MJ Quinn UK Firefighters’ Sailing Challenge.

The three-day annual sailing race in the Solent proved one of the highlights of the emergency services calendar with entrants from 26 brigades from across the country.

Huddersfield Watch Commander and navigator of the winning team Darren Bagley, said: “This year the weather was unusually unkind and we had to write off our practice day due to very rough weather out in the Solent.

“When the other teams arrived for the first day of racing on the Tuesday, we were able to take part in three races around various buoys in the Solent arriving at Cowes on the Isle of Wight for the evening.

“The second day of racing was unfortunately cancelled due to winds gusting to force 10.

“But by the final day the weather had calmed a little and we were able to get another couple of races completed.”

Fellow Huddersfield Watch Commander Chris Bell added: “The event winner is worked out on a points score over a number of races.

“We came second in our last race and that gave us the points boost we needed.

“We also had a good team and an experienced skipper.

“A lot of the aspects of taking orders and pulling together are transferable skills from firefighting. It was fantastic to win.”

And clearly team work helped West Yorkshire One clinch the trophy with just one point separating them from second place team Hampshire Firefighters.

But fellow firefighters manning West Yorkshire Two’s boat saw one of its team rescued by helicopter after he broke his collar bone and three teeth when the mainsheet became wrapped around the wheel.

But despite his injury he managed to rejoin his crew after a trip to hospital.

The West Yorkshire One team have this year raised £2,440 which will be split equally between Yorkshire Cancer Research and Huddersfield Down Syndrome Support Group.

The crew also funded the trip themselves, so that all money raised goes directly to the two charities.

This year sponsors are Lucas Lee and Partners chartered surveyors and

The winning crew were skipper Peter Crowther and Darren Bagley, Chris Bell, Glen Meacham, Stephen Fealy, Chris Johnson, Brendan Davey and Dave Woodall.