Professional racing driver, Billy Monger’s second day of his 140-mile challenge for Red Nose Day is halted due to dangerous weather conditions
Contingency plans are in place in the hope Billy can continue the challenge by kayak tomorrow, weather dependent
Yesterday saw Billy walk 18 miles from Newcastle to Durham, and was joined by comedian Chris Ramsey
Money raised by Red Nose Day this year will help tackle issues including homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse and mental health problems, all of which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, in the UK and around the world
For more info visit comicrelief.com/billy-monger (opens in new window)
Tuesday 23rd February: Due to extreme and unpredictable weather conditions in the Lake District, Comic Relief has made the decision to halt the second day of Billy’s Big Red Nose Challenge today following expert safety advice. Winds of 50mph and high waves made today’s plan to kayak across a lake too dangerous for Billy 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.
“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.”
Billy 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 today and too unpredictable. There were 50mph winds on the water and waves were very high. 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 action in the hope that Billy can continue his challenge by kayak tomorrow, which will again be weather dependent.
Fatima Ribeiro, Executive Director of Fundraising and Creative at Comic Relief said: “While today has been a setback, the safety and wellbeing of Billy and the team is our highest priority.
“After speaking with Billy, it is clear that this minor setback will not dampen his spirits or affect his passion and determination to complete every step of his challenge. Billy is ready for whatever tomorrow brings and excited to hear what’s next in his journey.
“We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported Billy so far. People at home getting behind Billy means so much – all of your kind messages and generous donations make a huge difference during both the ups and downs of such demanding and exhausting challenges. Please keep showing your support, and more news will be shared in due course.”
People at home will be able to see all the highs and lows of Billy’s challenge in an hour-long special documentary, filmed by a reduced crew that will be adhering to strict Covid-19 guidelines throughout the challenge, on BBC One in March.
Money raised by Red Nose Day this year will whelp tackle issues including homelessness, hunger, domestic abuse, and mental health problems, all of which have been exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic, in the UK and around the world.
To support Billy, go to comicrelief.com/billy-monger(opens in new window)