Why the Fat Rascal is secret of Harrogate team's English Channel swim attempt for charity

A forthcoming English Channel swim attempt by a fearless team from Harrogate whose ranks include an amputee is being fuelled by Fat Rascals.

Friday, 9th July 2021, 12:10 pm
Updated Friday, 9th July 2021, 12:12 pm
Intrepid amputee Jonty Warneken of the Harrogate swim team which is attempting the English Channel to raise money for local charities.
Intrepid amputee Jonty Warneken of the Harrogate swim team which is attempting the English Channel to raise money for local charities.

Set to take place next week, swimmers Jacqui Hargrave, Andrea Stark, Richard Powell and Jonty Warneken - who lost part of his leg in a car accident - have done most of their training on a Fat Rascal, that tasty fruit-laden cross between a scone and a rock cake.

Now, with the support of Harrogate's famous tearooms and bakery, the brave team intend to use a sizable supply of Fat Rascals as one of their main energy sources for the 20-mile swim across one of the world's busiest waterways.

English Channel here we come...Harrogate swim team Jacqui Hargrave, Andrea Stark, Richard Powell and Jonty Warneken ponder what's to come.

Open swimmer and popular blogger Jacqui Hargrave from Knaresborough, who is raising funds for Saint Michael’s Hospice, is not taking anything for granted after the team's previous English Channel attempt last year fell victim repeatedly to bad weather.

Jacqui said: “There are many challenges involved - and last year, our Channel attempt was postponed three times due to Covid and adverse weather conditions.

“Even if all goes to plan, it’s going to take approximately 14 hours to complete and end up in France.”

Meanwhile a new member of the team, Jonty Warneken, who hails from Kirk Deighton, is donating to Open Country, a Yorkshire-based charity with more than 30 years of experience in enabling people with disabilities to access and enjoy the countryside.

Jonty, who fought back from a dreadful car crash near Ripley in 1994 when he had to have his left leg amputated below the knee, said: “Since the accident, I’ve focused on getting over or even ignoring my physical limitations and finding things I want to do.

"I’m looking forward to the Channel swim. It’s great being part of a team with a single goal and, also, to help raise money for a great charity.”

The scale of the team's task should not be underestimated, for it is one that does not always come off and the team will need more than Fat Rascals.

They could also do with: need good weather, calm, warm seas and no jellyfish.

Asides from the low water temperatures of 15C, which have been known to induce hypothermia, it's not unusual for the occasional Orca whale to make an appearance, either.

The other team members include Andrea Stark from Harrogate, who is raising money for the Samaritans, and Richard Powell is raising money for Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health.

You can follow the team’s attempt on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/SwimYCS.

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.