From rowing the Atlantic to a dragon boat

TOP CREW: Helen Butters, second right, with  her record breaking Yorkshire Rows team mates. Picture: Ben Duffy.
TOP CREW: Helen Butters, second right, with her record breaking Yorkshire Rows team mates. Picture: Ben Duffy.

A world record-breaking rower is set to pick up an oar in next Saturday’s Dragon Boat Challenge.

Helen Butters, who was part of the all female Yorkshire Rows crew who crossed the Atlantic in December, is headed to Pugneys lake on July 9.

Last December Helen, along with colleagues Janet Benaddi, Niki Doeg and Frances Davies, conquered the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge in 67 days to become the oldest crew, male or female, to have succeeded in crossing the Atlantic. They were also the oldest female crew to have crossed any ocean.

But next Saturday Helen, who is 45, a mum and a communications expert in the NHS, will be paddling out with the 2014 dragon boat champions Iveridge Health Club team. Her daughter is also on the team.

Helen said: “I am looking forward to joining my friends from the Iveridge Health Club in trying to win back the trophy they won in 2014. It is going to be a great day out.”

This will be the eighth year that the Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge has taken place. The organisers, the Rotary Clubs of Wakefield Chantry and Huddersfield, are expecting several thousand people to turn up.

Some 31 teams will take part and raise money for charity.

Bob Guard, president of Wakefield Chantry Rotary Club, said: “It is a great day out for everyone. There will be plenty of racing going on all day from around 10am until 4pm in the afternoon, with a grand final around 3pm to 3.30pm, which will have six of these magnificent boats racing against each other over the 250m course across Pugneys lake.”

The fastest team will clinch the Stuart Wardell Trophy and there are two other prize categories. It is free event, with free parking, next to Pugneys.