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  • Radley College, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 2HR
  • Telephone: 01235 543000, Fax: 01235 543106

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Channel Swimmer

Channel Swimmer

Congratulations Harry Salter, D Social, Fifth, on swimming the Channel in relay with his father. Braving the worst conditions of season, they managed to swim the Channel in 13 hours and 6 minutes.

Report by Harry Salter, below:

I decided to swim the channel a year ago and in May I started doing open water training. My father drove me to Dover where a wonderful community of swimmers meet up every Saturday and Sunday to train either for solos or relays. The temperature of the water was initially at 9 degrees. Which after only half an hour of swimming in that temperature made you shiver uncontrollably. From May the training slowly built up until, at the climax, we were doing a back to back 7 hour swim.

Our swim window was the week of the 23rd September. Poor weather postponed the swim until the 3rd October. We set off at 12:40am, the water temperature was 17 degrees but outside it was only 9 degrees. My father took the first swim, only to loose his safety lights immediately. My first swim was better than I imagined on the whole but I found swimming in the dark unnerving. After swimming my first 2 hour stint in the water I quickly learnt that being on the boat was equally unpleasant. I suffered from cramp and got cold as my body struggled to adjust to the change in temperature. My middle 2 hour swim was better as I was swimming in the light. However, my last swim was really tough because by that time I had not been able to rest overnight.

As we approached France we missed the Cap Gris Nez which meant we had another 2 hours of swimming to do.
When we finally arrived we both swam in and landed on what was a extremely unpleasant beach - it was rocky with crashing waves. The final time was 13 hours and 6 minutes, we were thrilled with this time considering the conditions. I swam for a total of 7 hours and my Dad swam for 6 and a bit hours.

In total we raised £11,000 for the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust which helps teenagers with metal health issues such as depression.

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