Penarth to Clevedon 7-7-22
Swim time: 7hrs 4 mins 22seconds
Start: Penarth slipway
Finish: Clevedon Slipway
Observer: Madeliene Rumble
Swim Crew: Nicola Court
Pilot: Ceri Davies
Breast stroke swim! Ratified by the BCSA and believed to be the first Breaststroke swim across the Bristol Channel.
I am an Open water swimmer and plan to embark on a tough but inspiring challenge for Charity. This includes swimming across the 4 routes of the Bristol Channel, equating to a distance of approximately 100 miles, depending on tides. To add to this challenge, I am planning to do this as a breaststroker and hope to be the first swimmer in history to achieve this!
With the recognised positive effects open water swimming has on mental health, this has been the focus for choosing a charity to support whilst planning upcoming swim challenges. MIND will be at the forefront of money raised to honour and recognise the work they do for people with mental health issues.
I have personally suffered with depression but I am now able to recognise and manage this through swimming and awareness of issues. I have also completed a recognised Mental Health First Aid Course in order to help both myself and others.
On deciding to embark on this challenge, for both myself and to raise money for charity, I have trained hard in open water and at the gym. Increasing time in the water and strength training has been a massive help for the goal I hoped to achieve. I have trained at caversham lakes most days in the week and joined the durley swimmers in Bournemouth, and kings swimmers in Dover for additional sea training and coaching with experienced swimmers. I have trained in the Bristol Channel also in order to gain experience in the tides and channel for the crossing.
I felt strong during the swim and consistent in my stroke. Updates from crew helped me stay focused. This was done at feeds and communicated on a whiteboard. Overwhelmed to have completed the crossed and proud to have done this breaststroke only and in 7 hours 4 mins. I believe I am the first person to have ever successfully crossed the Bristol channel as a breaststroker.
Unexpected elements of the channel crossing as that of vomiting after a few feeds. I believe this was due to the swell and tides whilst feeding but managed to focus with support from crew and concentrating on the end goal.