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Ashford swimmer takes part in relay team’s cross-Channel fundraiser

Avoiding ferries and tug boats, six swimmers tackled the 21-mile stretch of water to raise money for drowning prevention project.

Written by Ben Cornwell

Swimming the English Channel is no easy feat. Few manage to complete it due to the high levels of endurance it takes to tackle the 21-mile challenge.

That is before you take into account the weather conditions you may face during the crossing.

Yet, on August 14, a relay team of six swimmers – Alison North, Jo Whiting, Lucy Ashdown-Parkes, Rob Sisly, Catherine Smith and Katie McAlister – took on the challenge to raise money for charity.

They set off from Shakespeare’s Beach in Dover at just gone 5am and each person swam for an hour before they switched over.

Alison North, from Ashford, Kent, said:

“It was quite mystical because the ferries in the background were covered in mist, so you couldn’t actually see much around you, and we were just on this little boat, so it made it feel like we were out there on our own.

Between the six of them, they managed to successfully reach Cap Gris-Nez in France in an impressive 12 hours and 26 minutes.

Alison said:

“You might think you would get bored, but you absolutely don’t because you have work to do and have to make sure everyone is safe and okay. Every minute was enjoyable.”

Their efforts raised around £14,000 for SwimTayka – a charity which teaches drowning prevention skills to children around the world.

The fundraising challenge was inspired by Channel 4’s Sink or Swim, which featured celebrities doing a relay team swim across the Channel.

Alison has already started planning her next aquatic challenge, which is a swim around Jersey in September with the Dover Darlings swimming group.

However, she also hopes to swim the English Channel again but with a smaller group of people, to make the challenge even harder and longer.

Original Article can be found here