On 1st July 2021, these four cheeky chaps ‘with a passion for fun and adventure’ will take on the huge challenge of swimming to France .. and back… in a 2-way English channel relay. That’s a massive 42 miles of swimming in cold sea water and without wetsuits (the rules don’t allow it). Their aim? To swim from Samphire Hoe Beach in Dover to Cap Gris Nez in France and back within 24 hours.
An English Channel swim is the crown jewel of open water swimming. And to swim both there and back with only four swimmers is definitely more unusual. The 2020 statistics reveal how unique a challenge they are taking on as there were 55 successful 1-way relays recorded and zero 2-way! They also, due to Covid, are not allowed to have non-swimming support crew – which means they have to support each other. It all makes it that more difficult.
And, we’re proud to say, they’re fundraising for Families in Grief (FiG)!
Meet the team
Jason (team lead) – if he’s not in the water then you’ll probably find him poolside, coaching with Barnstaple Swimming Club.
David (‘Blue’) – who will take on just about any challenge, so long as it involves the sea. Blue is also a coach with Bideford Bay Surf Lifesaving club and competes for them too.
Paul – who is a coach and competitor with Bideford Bay Surf Lifesaving Club – will just keep swimming and swimming until the dolphins come home!
And finally, Charlie, who has form, having successfully completed a one way English Channel relay in 2013. He now just wants to go ‘a bit further!’
A different form of challenge
“I now have a greater understanding of this thing that I call the journey of grief. In the same way no two people are the same, grief is personal and different for everyone.”
Jason had to go through a challenge of a different sort when his mum died unexpectedly in 2016. To help his family, and himself, come to terms with the grief of losing a much loved mum, mum-in-law and granny, Jason contacted Families in Grief (FiG). The whole family – Jason, his wife and two sons, then aged 7 and 8) took part in one of FiG’s Children and Parent’s Groups.
At the time, Jason wrote a short blog about his experience of grief and the role FiG played in supporting him and his family. His words really show that having the right help, at the right time, can make a big difference. We’re so grateful that Jason and the team are now raising funds for FiG so we can help even more families, just like Jason’s, when a loved one dies.
Read Jason’s blog
Cheer them on!
This is a mammoth challenge, involving months of training in the wet, cold and everything else the North Devon weather can throw at them! Please give your support – and remember, even the smallest of amounts will help.
Please donate here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/SeaMonkeys2wayenlgishchannelrelay
Follow the team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We’ll also be sharing their posts in the countdown to 1st July.