TROOPS from Harrogate’s Army Foundation College are set to become the first army swimmers in more than 100 years to complete an individual channel crossing and in the process, raise money for two worthwhile causes.
Three of the military staff will attempt the complete crossing, matching the feat achieved by Captain Matthew Webb in 1875, with another team of six working in relay, each swimming the minimum 35,200 metres (two miles) for two hours at a time.
The group hopes to raise more than £30,000 to split between ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and the Special Care Baby Unit at Harrogate District Hospital.
Warrant officer class 2, Lee Sawyer, 34, said: “When my own daughter was born at Harrogate District Hospital I thought what better way to show them my appreciation than to do something extraordinary to support the good work that they do?”
The team has been preparing for the effort by swimming in the lake at Ripon Racecourse as well as the nearby River Nidd before progressing to one-mile practice swims in the North Sea at North Sea at Withernsea, Bridlington, Filey, Scarborough and Whitby as part of their progression from swimming in inland lakes to coastal waters.
For more details about Harrogate’s Cross-Channel swimmers, visit http://www.afcchannelswim.com.