After being disappointed not to complete their cross Channel swim for charity last year, Swindon swimmers Bethan Sowden from Freshbrook and Sarah Baker from Oakhurst, are delighted to have finally made the crossing to raise money for spinal cord injury charity Aspire during the fine weather at the end of July.
Explaining the delay Bethan said: “We were due to swim in early September, but it had to be abandoned due to poor weather conditions. Then this year our crossing scheduled between 10 and 18 July was threatened once again because of the weather, but we eventually got the call to get down to Dover.”
Beth and Sarah formed part of a six-strong relay team, departing at 2.43am on Tuesday 24 July. Bethan was the first to swim and completed three one hour sessions, while her team mates each did two one hour swims.
“Conditions were perfect all day without a cloud in the sky,” said Beth. “Lots of cargo ships, ferries, sailing and pleasure craft went past, but we overtook three other channel swimming boats which we were pleased about.”
The relay team reached land just south of Cap Griz Nez in just 13 hours and 5 minutes, at 3.58pm.
Beth is now considering a solo crossing. “The boat leader and pilots told me I had the potential; it’s just a question of training and deciding if it’s what I want to do.”
Between them the team raised over £10,000 for Aspire and donations can still be made at: www.justgiving.com/Bethan-Sowden
Pictured: Bethan, resting between her three swims in the Channel.