Swimming:Channel conquerers return

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After completing his cross-Channel swim in 11 hours 23 min 12 sec on Friday 34-year-old Richard returned home on yesterday to return to work, while his wife was preparing for today’s attempt at the round-Island swim, escorted by the Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club’s Charlie Gravett.While Richard is an old-hand at the round-Jersey swim – he has completed it successfully five times – this will be the first time for Judith who is expected to return to dry land at around 4 pm.This has been a busy time for the JLDSC, who have seen two Jersey swimmers successfully swim the Channel over the last four days.First was Richard, who set off on Friday the last of seven swimmers who were attempting to cross the Channel.

Despite choppy seas he managed to overhaul the rest of them and was first man home in a time which, for the conditions, was excellent.’The swim was all right but there were two-and-a-half-foot waves slopping away at me; there were also loads of ships making waves as well,’ he said.

‘There was no visibility, either.’By contrast, when he first swam the Channel in 1989 he finished in ten hours 20 minutes.Meanwhile for 16-year-old Hautlieu student Sam Maletroit, Saturday’s cross-Channel swim was a first, and although she hadn’t particularly enjoyed her first long distance swim – around the Island, when she had seen 134 jellyfish along the way – on Saturday she counted just four.’I enjoyed it,’ she said late this morning.

‘And the hardest bit was when I could see the French coast but it still looked so far away.

I also missed the beach I was supposed to swim to, and had to swim to another one around Cap Gris Nez.’I was sick after four hours, but the guard boat looked after me.

I wasn’t supposed to swim the Channel for another two weeks but I took my costume with me, and I was told that the conditions were ideal.’There were another two swimmers, one guy who didn’t make it and an American girl.’Not surprisingly she was tired at the end, and then had to swim back to the guard boat before setting off back to Dover.

No passport was required.’I’m waiting for my AS level results on Thursday,’ she said, adding that she will be going for another swim, tonight, and that her cross-Channel swim isn’t the end of her long-distance swimming ambitions.Twelve members of the JLDSC have swum the Channel a total of 16 times between them.

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