Kingfishers stars ready to take on Channel

From left, Claire Bamford, Sarah Platten, Elisha DeAlker, Di Roberts, Heather Riley, Alex Sedman and Jane Sedman
From left, Claire Bamford, Sarah Platten, Elisha DeAlker, Di Roberts, Heather Riley, Alex Sedman and Jane Sedman

Scarborough’s Kingfishers Swimming Club have a small contingent travelling to Dover on Saturday to swim the English Channel as a relay.

Statistically more people have climbed Mount Everest than swum the Channel so training has been tough and in place since early April in the pool, sea and Wykeham Lakes for the all-female team of Jane Sedman, Di Roberts, Heather Riley, Alex Sedman, Sarah Platten, Elisha De’Alker and Claire Bamford.

Their pilot is Andy King on Louise Jane Charters out of Dover, who is one of the most respected Channel Swimming Association pilots.

The ladies will be staying in St Margaret’s Bay nearby from Saturday July 29 the start of their week of tides and training in the sea every day awaiting the phone call to say their attempt is on for the following tide, this could be day or night so they will be on standby until the call comes.

Fundraising has been going on for the last 18 months to raise the £6800 to cover the boat cost, CSA administration and accommodation for all the swimmers and their families.

The open water coach Paula Ambury and club boat safety officer Phil Dickinson will be onboard with the swimmers, who will enter the water off Samphire Hoe or Shakespeare Beach and swim non-stop in one-hour slots in strict rotation until they land on the French shore.

The difficult swim can take anything between 10-20 hours dependant on weather and tides.

In 2013 the club successfully swam the testing Channel in a time of 10 hours and 34 minutes, so the 2017 team are hoping to follow in the footsteps of previous club members and conquer the piece of water most revered in open water swimming.