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OVERVIEW of CHALLENGE

After years of dreaming, planning, adjusting plans, contacting and cul-de-sacs I finally put together the challenge I wanted to celebrate my 50th year on the planet and following the sad passing away of my good friend the drive and purpose to make it happen was crystalised

The challenge was to swim Europe’s three most iconic swims which includes swimming across the joining points of the four main bodies of water that surround mainland Europe and joins three continents (Europe, Asia, Africa) and includes Open water swimings blue ribbon event of Swimming the English Channel.

This series of swims represents many tests to be overcome and the training plan included training in pools and lidos during the winter with lake and sea swimming starting in the spring with mileage peaking at back to back swims of 10 hours each in the sea.

With two of the swims completed in 2016 (Gibraltar Straits and English Channel) the Bosphous swim (Europe-Asia) will conclude the 3 SWIMS challenge

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BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION

My support of the British Heart Foundation goes back many years to when I undertook swimathons alongside my father following his first bi-pass operation (younger than my current age). He has gone on to have a number of stents and totalled eight bi-passes (2no. triples and a double) and we are so grateful to the technology of the BHF for his continued company.

Following the premature death of my brother-in-law from a heart attack in 2003 I undertook a number of triathlons (including an Ironman) and my first marathon (with my sister) in his memory for the benefit of the British Heart Foundation.

Early in 2016 Mark (Sheppy) ,a friend & mentor, tragically died of a heart condition. He was my Captain as we played Water Polo together for a number of successful teams for over 20 years growing up . He was also there for advice during my original Channel swim in 2007. A leader in & out of the water who not only had a passion for a full life he also had a love and talent for swimming & he will be with me throughout the swims

BHF vision couldn’t be more ambitious - a world where people no longer die prematurely from heart disease.But it can’t be done alone. BHF are working alongside government, other health charities, health professionals and thousands of dedicated supporters to beat heart disease.

I hope you will see my association with the British Heart foundation is long standing and something very personal to me and my family and will choose to join me by supporting this great cause.

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Europe to Africa

The first of the swims will be the Southern swim from Europe to Africa and will be the Gibraltar Straits. This is where the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea meet and is the historic point between Europe and Africa.

The Distance 

The geographically distance is about 8 miles.

Attempts are made from Tarifa Island to the vicinity of Punta Cires having to swim between 9 to 12 nautical miles (16.5 to 22 kilometres)

Information

This swim has been on my dream list for decades and has proved elusive to get organised and we won’t believe we are actually going to get the chance until we are in the water at Tarifa and turning our arms towards Morocco! I say we because it was the dogged "not taking No and No answer" as an answer from Mark Pollard that has given us this opportunity. I am very much looking forward to swimming alongside Pollers and achieving on of Europes (and Worlds) great swims


England to France

The West swim will be the world blue ribbon event for distance swimming - UK mainland to France - the English Channel. This is where the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea .

The Distance 

The geographically distance is about 21 miles.

Attempts are made from Shakespeare Beach in Dover to the French coast between Cap Gris Nez and Calais having to swim on average 31 miles

Information

My tide is a Neap tide between 9th and 16th August 2016
    Three times as many people have sumitted Everest than have successfully swum solo across the English Channel. Even though it is known as the Everest of swimming.

    ON AUGUST 24, 1875, Matthew Webb became the first person to swim the English Channel. He completed the swim from Dover to near Calais in 21 hours and 45 minutes. While he swam his daughter gave him brandy, roast beef sandwiches and Bovril from a boat.

    Swimming from England to France is quicker than the other direction. The record for France to England is eight hours and five minutes.

    The shortest distance across the Channel is 21 miles (18.2 nautical miles)

    For more than 20 years the French have banned swimming from Calais to Dover as the swimmers are seen as a hazard to shipping.

    The English Channel formed around 10,000 years ago when the last ice age ended.

    Alison Streeter MBE has made a record 43 successful cross-Channel swims.

    The spoil from the Channel Tunnel was left near Dover, adding some 90 acres to the area of the UK.

    Europe to Asia

    The East swim will be the swim from Europe to Asia and will be the Dardanelles Straits at Hellespont. This is where the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea meet and is one of the busiest shipping lanes in Europe.

    The Distance 

    The geographically distance is about 5 Km.

    The starting point is Eceabat in Europe with the completion being the landing point at Canakkale in Turkey Asia.

    Information

    The Ancient Greek youth Leander swam the Hellespont swim nightly, guided by the torches lit by his beloved Hero, so the legend goes, until one stormy night he succumbed to the treacherous currents and drowned. Broken hearted Hero followed her lover to the watery depths.

    In 1810 the young Lord Byron emulated Leander’s swim, and narrowly escaped drowning himself. This swim is often known as "The Byron Swim"