An Eastbourne swimmer has completed one of the toughest tests of endurance in the world of swimming the English Channel.
Liz Price, of Team Bodyworks, achieved her childhood ambition of swimming the gruelling 21 miles of ocean between Britain and France to raise money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
After months of training she started her swim at 3am on August 27, setting off from Samphire Hoe with the support of a boat crew and team members who accompanied her on a kayak.
She said, “Luckily the sea conditions were good and one of the highlights was watching the sunrise after a few hours of swimming in the dark.
“The crew on the boat were also lucky to see three pods of dolphins and two seals.”
Liz said she found the first few hours the hardest but this is where she relied on her training base to push on through the bad patches.
If it isn’t daunting enough to swim the Channel, there are also some very strict rules such as only being allowed to wear a regular swimming costume, one swimming hat and goggles – but grease can be used to help with insulation and hopefully prevent some of the jellyfish stings.
With Liz not being allowed to touch the boat at all during the crossing, the crew on the boat helped to maintain her energy every 45 minutes by throwing drinks and energy foods to her from the boat.
The tide began to change as she approached the last few hours and, with France in sight, she had to pick up the pace to beat the tide.
This was one of the most crucial moments – as when the tide changes it can be very hard to swim against the current. Many people have been so close yet unable to reach land.
Luckily Liz managed to make it to France and clambered onto the rocks at 3.05pm with an impressive swim time of 12 hours 5 minutes.
She said she is hugely grateful to her fantastic support crew on the boat Gallivant, led by Mike Oram, as well as Mandy Batchelor, Carole Gorman and Gary Brickley whose support allowed her to focus on the swim.
She said, “Thank you so much to everyone for all your kind donations and for all of the messages of support and congratulations.
“Also a big thank you to my amazing boat crew who were there every step of the way looking after me on the day. Finally, thank you to every single person who supported me throughout my training.“
To donate to Liz’s fundraising page, which has already raised more than £1,500 for charity, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lizchannelswim