Between the 15th – 19th August 2017, four very brave employees from Crewsaders will attempt to swim the English Channel to raise funds for Backup.
Kieren Stephens, Matt Tector, Jon Selwyn and Will Nutbeen will swim in a relay with each one of them taking one hour long stints in the water.
The twenty one mile wide channel is the busiest shipping lane in the world, but the team will also have to contend with very cold water, shoals of jellyfish and diesel fumes from the pilot vessel that will accompany them.
The team have collectively worked in the events industry for close to fourty years, and decided that it was time to give something back to the industry they love.
The team are currently undergoing a rigorous training regime to build strength, endurance, long distance swimming techniques and tolerance to the cold.
Kieren recently sent in these notes about training in the cold;
“The difference in being able to swim comfortably in a local lake last year when it was at it’s warmest, at around 17 degrees, to swimming in it now at a much colder 10 degrees doesn’t sound like a big difference, but in reality, it’s huge.
Last year at the beginning of our training I managed a comfortable 3-4km. This time after a fair few months training in the gym and indoor pool sessions to improve swimming technique, I struggled to swim a mere 1km.
The cold water just simply took my breath away. I struggled on and managed to get more comfortable as the swim went on.
When I came out though my body wasn’t able to recover fast enough and I experienced what has been described to us as “The Drop”.
I was very fortunately swimming in a well established outdoor lake and surrounded by people who had seen and dealt with the drop before.
I was unable to control my movement and had uncontrollable shakes. My speech was slurred and brain function had slowed. My body was craving more oxygen which meant I couldn’t stop yawning and wanted to go to sleep, which could have been very dangerous. I was swimming with team mate Jon, who had to nurse me with extra clothing and hot drinks.”