Giles conquers epic Liverpool to Leeds kayaking challenge

editorial image
Have your say

A man has raised £1,000 for charity, after kayaking from Liverpool to Leeds.

Giles Bowman, who is profoundly deaf, completed the 160-mile challenge in just five days.

Giles was raising the money for Leeds Deaf Football Club and has surpassed his target already.

After reading about the Leeds-Liverpool canal on the internet, Giles was inspired to do the route for a charitable cause.

And after successfully borrowing a kayak, he was ready to star the challenge.

Giles said: “I asked Leeds Canoe Club’s chairman Stephen Henderson if they have a spare kayak for me to attempt it.

“Stephen agreed and thus the ball start rolling.

“I arranged with the Canal and River Trust and informed them of my attempt and after plenty of risk assessments I was cleared to go.”

Giles was joined on his journey by close friend Andrew, who is also deaf, and he provided updates in sign language and provided support.

Despite completing the gruelling trip, Giles says it wasn’t without its pitfalls.

“I once fell into the water after going through the Gannow Tunnel in Burnley and water kept getting into my kayak meaning I almost sunk on the last day!”

Up to 300 people were following Giles’ exploits on a Facebook Live stream and were able to see him complete the final leg of the journey.

He added: “My arms are sore and my hands are still swollen and I can barely clench them into a fist.

“I have shed some tears along the way and it’s been an emotional experience, but I can’t believe how far I made it.”