Racing driver Billy Monger has been forced to halt the second day of his 140-mile triathlon-inspired charity challenge due to dangerous weather conditions.
Monger, a double amputee, has been attempting to tackle the huge distance to raise money for Red Nose Day, but winds of 50mph and high waves made Tuesday’s plan to kayak across a lake too dangerous for him to attempt.
Billy Monger said: “Obviously I’m absolutely gutted.
“I just want to keep going on this challenge and do my supporters proud, but safety has to come first.
“It was so windy on the shore that I was finding it difficult to even stand up at one point.
— billywhizz (@BillyMonger) February 23, 2021
“It’s such a shame because this morning it was a bit rainy but I still thought it could go ahead.
“But just 20 minutes away the waves were crashing into the road and boats were being tossed around on the lake.”
He added: “I’ve trained so hard for this and after yesterday I just wanted to keep the momentum going.
“But I’m determined to finish this challenge no matter what.
“There’s no way I’m stopping now.”
Mark Agnew, kayak technical lead said the weather was “treacherous and too unpredictable”.
He said: “Even an experienced kayaker would struggle in these conditions let alone a beginner like Billy.
“I know he is massively disappointed, but it just wasn’t safe for him to go out today.”
Contingency plans are now being put into place in the hope that Monger can continue his challenge by kayak on Wednesday, which will again be weather dependent.
Monger began racing aged just six, but in April 2017 at a British F4 race he was left with life-changing injuries that resulted in the amputation of both his legs.
However, he was back at the wheel within a year and has now been training for months to take on the mammoth challenge.
He was due to walk, kayak and cycle the distance to raise money to help will tackle issues including homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse and mental health problems.
On Monday he walked 18 miles from Newcastle to Durham, joined by comedian Chris Ramsey.
People at home will be able to see all the highs and lows of Monger’s challenge in an hour-long special documentary, filmed by a reduced crew, on BBC One in March.