Kingfishers ready for Channel Relay challenge

The Kingfishers open water team
The Kingfishers open water team

The Kingfishers Swimming Club Channel Relay squad will set off to Folkestone on June 28 in their bid to swim the English Channel.

It is the first time in the club’s history a team has gone to the Channel and they have been fundraising for a year to enable it to happen.

The team, comprising of 12-year-old Savannah MacKenzie, 14-year-old Mary-Beth Hebron, 14-year-old Erin Hope, Alex Lee, Jonathon Lucas, Kev Sykes and Jane Sedman, have all been open water swimmers in Kingfishers squad for many years and started their cold water acclimatisation this year in six degrees on April 8.

They have been in the sea every week since and as of May 22 they were comfortably staying in 50 minutes each in 8.5 degrees.

On April 29 they started at Wykeham Lakes and as of Monday they were swimming two hours in 13 degree conditions.

A Channel Relay costs around £5,000 and involves setting off from the English coast on a charted vessel ours is called Pathfinder and swimming in a relay formation in a set order for one hour at a time until a swimmer walks out on the French beach.

To put the attempt into perspective statistics show that in 2011 - 537 people successfully climbed Mount Everest with just 37 solo swimmers and 11 teams swimming the English Channel.

The team have been sponsored by Identity of Muston who has provided personalised hoodies, Speedo, who have provided matching costumes, t-shirts and tracksuits.

Scarborough Paint and Panel have donated £250 which will be used to buy each swimmer a Channel Swimming Association Certificate when they complete the swim.

You can follow the team’s progress on Facebook - Kingfishers SC English Channel - or in the Scarborough News.

Anyone wishing to donate to the team’s efforts can do so via www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/kingfisherlongdistancesquad.

If you would like to see them training they will be in the South Bay 7pm onwards on Wednesday evenings meeting at Aquarium Top or Wykeham Lakes 6pm onwards on Monday evenings.