As the crow flies its 21 and a bit miles from England to France. Most people choose to take the ferry or the tunnel to make the crossing, but every year a small number of people choose to walk into the sea at Dover and swim. This year that will be me.
This adventure will see me team up with 5 other people, grouped together at a channel swim assessment day to form the 'Aspire Sea Eagles', and we will attempt to make an official channel swim 6-man relay crossing, following all rules as set by the channel swimming association.
The average public swimming pool in the UK has a water temperature of between 25-28 degrees celsius. To abide by the official rules we will have to swim in water temperatures of around 14 degrees celsius wearing just one standard swim costume and hat. The use of wetsuits is forbidden. We must also stick to a strict rotation of swimmers, who must each swim for a full hour before the next swimmer takes over. Any change to the rotation order or discrepancy in time will result in the swim being halted and deemed unsuccessful. Add to that that we will be attempting to swim across the busiest swimming lane in the world with between 500-600 tankers and boats passing through a day, fighting changing tides that are likely to drag us miles off course and dodging jellyfish, waves and uncertain weather, it probably won't surprise you to know that more people have successfully climbed Everest than have swum the English Channel. The video below follows the team from 2016.
Why am I doing this? Not only is this a big personal challenge of mine, it is also giving me the opportunity to raise money for Aspire - a UK charity who provide practical help to those who have been paralysed by a Spinal Cord Injury, supporting them from injury to independance. In the UK alone, every 8 hours someone is paralysed by a spinal cord injury, it can happen to anyone and any time, and no one is prepared for how it will dramatically change their life. Historically, the majority of spinal cord injuries each year occur in my age group - those aged between 21 and 30.
To support my challenge please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/CazzLander to donate, spread the word amongst friends and family and click on the channel swim tab at the top of the page to read more about what I am doing.