ARMED forces teams have completed a gruelling Channel crossing kite surfing relay – raising more than £10,000 for Help for Heroes.

The Army, Navy and the RAF each fielded six-man teams for the charity challenge on Friday – with the Navy team coming home first after about seven-and-a-half hours on the water, closely followed by the Army.

The Kite for Heroes event began at the Channel Island of Alderney, with each rider on the team taking it in turns. They covered 70 nautical miles before coming home to the finish at Sandbanks, where their arrival was part of the Animal Windfest weekend line-up.

Navy team member Lt Cdr Jon Platt, who lives in Lilliput, was first to arrive at Sandbanks. He is a helicopter pilot based at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset.

Fellow Poole residents Captain Dan Holloway, Paul Lazenbury and Karl Cadwallander of Xtremes Learn2Ride also took part on behalf of the Army team.

The charity challenge had been planned for June – but unfavourable winds meant it was pushed back.

Captain Stephen ‘Scully’ Scullion captain of the Navy team said conditions on Friday were tough.

He said it was “really lumpy” on the water at times and the competitors had to ride downwind for most of the crossing, making it a challenge to keep the kites in the air.

He added: “It was fairly competitive, but our main aim was to raise money for the injured guys through the Help for Heroes charity.

“After we were supposed to do it in June but the wind was not so good, we were all on tenterhooks to get it completed. There was more a sense of achievement that we’d finished it and raised some money.”

The event was the brainchild of Henry Waite, Head of Ticket to Ride Kitesurfing academy at Exmouth, who rode with the Navy team.

JM Yachting provided the support boats. Poole based Xtremes – Learn2Ride provided the kites.

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