A local open water swimming team is hoping to break the world record for crossing the English Channel FOUR times in a row later this year – a feat no other European team has ever completed.
Having already successfully completed a two-way relay swim of the Channel, Big Rick’s Swim Team, comprised of 6 amateur swimmers, now want to push the boundaries of physical endurance even further by swimming twice the distance of their two-way swim, even with the same number of swimmers in the team as before.
The record for the so called ‘quadruple-swim’ is currently held by a Mexican team at 42 hours and 11 minutes. The only other team to have ever completed the challenge is from Australia.
Five of the six swimmers in the team are based locally and also belong to Perry Beeches Sutton Swim Squad.
Stinging Jellyfish and Strong Tides
Team captain Paul Bates, 49, from Sutton Coldfield, said he’s extremely excited about the challenge. He explains:
“This will be an incredible experience for us all, but it will be physically and mentally exhausting at the same time.
“During the swim we’ll encounter stinging jellyfish, strong tides and we’ll have to swim in complete darkness overnight. We’ll also navigate through the busiest shipping lane in the world – 4 times!
“Since the team formed in 2011, the team has raised more than £80,000 for a host of charities. This time around we’ll be raising money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute as well as British Heart Foundation.”
A Tough Test
In 2016, the team became the fastest mixed British team ever to complete a two-way crossing of the Channel, but this will be a much tougher test for the tireless swimmers. They will swim for a minimum of 84 miles, but it will be much further than this due to the strong tides.
The swimmers will rotate during the challenge, with each team member swimming for one hour, then resting on a support boat while the rest of the team complete their own one-hour swims. The team will repeat this pattern until they finish.
According to strict rules, wetsuits are not allowed. The team must wear standard swimming trunks, and the female member of the team a standard swimming costume.
Big Rick’s Swim Team has gained the support of leading swimming brand, ‘FINIS’, who are sponsoring the team with swimwear, accessories, clothing, in addition to helping promote the swim to as wide an audience as possible.
The Team is made up of: Paul Bates, Ryan Coley, Ross Emery, Stuart Fuller, Melanie Holland and Charlie Wheadon
If you’d like to donate to Big Rick’s Swim Team, please visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/BigRicks4wayEnglishChannelRelay