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17 August 2010 | PR 1/128

Ash completes arduous voyage for Help the Heroes

LOUGHBOROUGH student Ash Jeyes hasn’t spent the summer recess with his feet up — instead, he undertook a solo sea kayak voyage through some of Europe’s roughest seas to raise money for the Help the Heroes charity.

The 25 year-old military-sponsored mature student, studying at the University’s Department of Information Science as part of the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS), completed the arduous trip from Guernsey to Bilbao in Spain in 39 days.

Having to negotiate the notorious Brest Peninsula and Bay of Biscay, Ash was beset by storms, high seas, loneliness and fatigue during the unsupported expedition, but when on land he managed to keep an online blog highlighting just how tough the trip of around 900 nautical miles was.

On one occasion, eight days in, Ash suffered equipment failure and said: “Reached Roscoff at 1830. As usual I moved the kayak onto my trolley to make my way up the harbour from low water and the trolley snapped in two. I was devastated. One kilometer from shore and no-one to help. My only option was to drag the kayak for some time, damaging the gel coat hull.

“After throwing my teddies out of the pram I went to find some lifeguards to lift the kayak to the top of one of the beaches. It took three of them to help and 15 minutes.”

Ash was also hampered on a couple of occasions when he had to remain on land because it was just too dangerous to go out on the stormy Atlantic.

However, on finally reaching Bilbao on day 39, Ash added: “For me, landing on the beach was just like any other day, but the enormity of the whole journey began to sink in. It was great to be met by friends and family and I had a celebratory drink of champagne then unpacked everything in the kayak to transport it all away from the coast.”

Ash is hoping to raise £5,000 for Help the Heroes, and said: “I’m truly ecstatic and overwhelmed by the generosity shown and kind support the public have given. Without all of that and donating to the charity this journey would have achieved nothing.”

To follow Ash’s adventure, go to www.seakayakchallenge.com, where you can also sponsor him. Alternatively, to make a donation visit: www.bmycharity.com/v2/seakayakchallenge


For all media enquiries contact:

Paul Manning
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: D.Coyle@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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