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July 25 2013.

A team comprising of crew from Newhaven lifeboat station and friends have kayaked across Scotland from Fort William (North Atlantic coast) to Inverness (North Sea coast) raising over £5500. The challenge was along the full length of the Caledonian Canal, including Loch Ness, which is 23 miles in length. The 60 mile kayak was achieved in just over two days.

Newhaven Lifeboat Press Officer Alan Novis explained: "We carried out this challenge to raise money for the RNLI and as a tribute to our close friend Gavin Butcher, a volunteer crew member on Newhaven lifeboat who sadly lost his battle with cancer in late February this year aged just 49. We know he would have been incredibly proud.

"The challenge was certainly tough, with the team battling injuries and some illness during the three days. On the first long day we paddled 27 miles and had to cope with a searing 28C heat with little breeze.

"On day two Loch Ness was unpredictable as expected. Starting calm with a gentle breeze from behind and with little warning, the waters became choppy with a strong 25mph head wind against the team in a section where the support team could not reach the kayakers for 14 miles.

"I am incredibly proud of the team, as they all got their heads down and paddled on."

The final day was a shorter paddle, which ended with a team leap into Loch Ness for a celebration swim.

Every single member of the team completed the Caledonian Canal in just over two days, which is an incredible achievement, raising funds for the RNLI.

All of the costs were met by the team members personally, so that every penny goes to the RNLI. The support team also gave their time for free, which made the challenge possible.

Thanks go to corporate sponsors Veolia Environmental Services, James Ross Jewellers, Build It & Family Investments. Also to equipment and design sponsors: Brighton Canoes, Perception Kayaks, Palm, Meridian Zero, My Talking Drum, Ruk Sport, BNC Signs, Prestige Promotional Products Ltd. and Silver Star Cleaning.

The team took nine months to plan the challenge. They allowed for just about every eventuality, which included, risk assessments, correct safety equipment, VHF radios and meticulous passage planning, which was logged with Aberdeen Coastguards.

Being so organised certainly made this challenge a tough but safe and importantly fun fund raising experience for all.

The team can still be sponsored at Just Giving: