Not just an ultimate long distance challenge, this swim takes place in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes; the Channel sees no fewer than 600 tankers, 200 ferries and many other smaller vessels passing through it every day.
Consider this: more individuals have managed to climb Everest than have succeeding in swimming from England to France.
Setting out from Shakespeare’s Cliff, situated between Folkestone and Dover in Kent, this summer Dave Shephard and Phil Couch – aka, the Swimhalers – will swim around 32 km (21 miles), becoming possibly as much as 50 km (31 miles) with the tides to the finish line at Wissant on the north-west coast of France.
Beyond the superhuman distances involved, Phil and Dave will have to cope with frigid water temperatures and a sea environment that can attract winds of up to force four or five to produce waves of up to two metres.
Ensuring they are swimming with the tide, the pair must draw on all their training and experience while relying on the knowledge of accompanying boat pilots, if they are to navigate the treacherous waters of the Channel and make it safely to northern France.
If all goes well, they expect to be enjoying coffee and croissants around fourteen hours after departure from Kent. The fastest swim of the channel is a little over seven hours, while the slowest is nearly 27 hours.
There is a deeper significance to the Swimhalers’ cross-Channel adventure. Phil and Dave will be swimming in memory of Antonia Thomas, a little girl who lost her life at the age of ten after a short asthma attack.
The Swimhalers aim to raise awareness and essential funds for Asthma UK, to help combat a respiratory disease which affects more than half the UK population.
Support the Swimhalers
If you would like to get behind Dave and Phil (enjoying a nice cup of tea while they windmill their way through the chilly, choppy waters of the Channel), please donate to their Just Giving page and leave them a little message to cheer them on!
Click here for a closer look at how a Channel swim is organised and the many physical obstacles this challenge holds.
About Asthma UK
- Asthma UK’s mission is to stop asthma attacks and cure asthma. They do this by funding world leading research, campaigning for improved care and supporting people to reduce their risk of a potentially life threatening asthma attack.
- Asthma UK is solely funded by public donations.
- The Asthma UK Helpline is open weekdays from 9am to 5pm on 0300 2225800
For more information about asthma please visit: www.asthma.org.uk
To find out more about Asthma UK’s events that take place throughout the year, visit www.asthma.org.uk/events