A DRAGON boat racing crew from Crosby has raised more than £15,000 for charity after taking on a 128 mile canal challenge.

The Crosby Crusaders, who meet and train every Sunday morning at Crosby Lakeside, travelled the entire length of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal across seven days. It is the first time that anyone has ever used this type of boat to travel the length of the canal. Donations poured in for the crew, who took two dragon boats, with the money going to the Merseyside & Cheshire Blood Bikes, which provides a cost free service to the NHS, hospices and the public.

They set off on Sunday, May 1 from Liverpool Albert Dock and arrived in Leeds on Sunday, May 8.

A member of the dragon boat crew, Neil Jones said: “I did it to raise money for an amazing charity and also  because I like to challenge myself and thirdly because it’s never been done before in a dragon boat! “We had many challenges along the way including 91 locks, 56 swing bridges , and two tunnels to navigate through in complete darkness!

“There’s been plenty of laughs, a few tears, a lot of sore and tired people, huge amounts of banter, but most importantly we raised a massive £15,000! Thanks for all the kind donations.”