On Monday 25 June, a team of intrepid Wellington swimmers, comprising six students and Mr Murphy, swam the Channel in 11 hours, 23 minutes, breaking the College record by an incredible 55 minutes. This is the 7th fastest Channel relay swim out of 200 relay crossings certified by the Channel Swimming Federation in the last three years – an incredible achievement, particularly as the majority of these were achieved by adult swimmers. This is also the first time the College has achieved back-to-back, fully certified crossings.
After three months of training in lakes and in the sea, with temperatures as cold as 10C, the 2018 relay team of Matty, Piper, Caitlin, Jess, Raph, Elodie and Mr Murphy began their relay swim from England to France just after 0820 on Monday morning. Swimming without wetsuits in sea temperatures of 15C, each swimmer took turns to swim one hour and the team immediately made fast progress out from the white cliffs of Dover and into the busy shipping lanes. Each hour presented new trials, from the notoriously jellyfish-strewn mid-Channel, to the challenge of maintaining a favourable course with the tides dragging the team away from France.
Although Dover to Calais is 22 miles as the crow flies, the team swam 35 miles and landed at 1944 on rocks below the cliffs at Cap Gris Nez, south of Calais. The team’s courage, spirit and support to each other was exemplary. This was a special team that worked for each other through every stage of the process. Together, they raised £2324 for Level Water; their efforts will give seven children with disabilities the chance to learn how to swim.