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Frome to France Channel Swim

Left to right: Nicole Poole, Sally Hooper, Tatiana Hooper, Geoff Hooper, Lucy White, Ailsa Williams and Marcus White.

Left to right: Nicole Poole, Sally Hooper, Tatiana Hooper, Geoff Hooper, Lucy White, Ailsa Williams and Marcus White.

THE Frome to France Channel Swim team successfully swam across the English Channel in 13 hours and 9 minutes on Wednesday 4th September. 

The team of four juniors (Ailsa Williams, Tatiana Hooper, Nicole Poole and Lucy White, all 15 years old) and three adults (Geoff Hooper, Sally Hooper and Marcus White) are all members of Frome Swimming Club.

They have been planning the swim for two years and were very lucky to have expert coaching and advice from Kat Baker who is a personal trainer at Frome Leisure Centre and open water swimming coach, specialising in cross channel swimming.

Since April this year they have been travelling to Weymouth on a fortnightly basis to swim in the sea. It was a very cold start to the year, which made the initial training hard, but as the weather improved they had to hurry to complete their two hour qualifying swim in water below 16 degrees.

Throughout the year Kat Baker coordinated swims alongside a boat and a night swim to prepare the team for the challenge ahead.

The day of the swim was sunny and calm, Ailsa swam off Shakespeare beach in Dover and then the team swam an hour each in strict rotation. The pilot guided them in an S shape as shown through the tides, seeing porpoises, 1200m cargo ships and much to their delight, no jellyfish.

It was just getting dark as the team approached France and Lucy White was the lucky swimmer who took them ashore. The other juniors followed behind and they all climbed onto the beach in France.

Early in the planning the team decided to raise money for two local charities: Dorothy House and PAC. There were several fund raising events including a family disco, Christmas dinner dance, quiz, coffee mornings and street fair stall. They have a Virgin Money Just Giving Website and altogether have raised more than £4,000 to be split between the charities.

The whole team agrees it was a fantastic, life changing experience and they are thrilled to have raised so much money for charity.

 

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