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North Channel Solo Swim

SARAH PHILPOTT

  • 3.00% funded
  • £ 135.00 pledged
  • Days Left

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The 21miles of water between Northern Ireland and Scotland, is known as The North Channel, and is one of the seven most dangerous open-water swims in the world. To date, less than 100 people have successfully crossed, and so you might be asking why? 

  • Why would I want to battle through strong currents and swim over crevices 1,000ft deep? 
  • Why would I want to come face-to-face repeatedly with the world’s largest sea creature whose tentacles, reach up to 120ft in length, and deliver agonising shots of pain? 
  • And why would I want to swim in a sea so cold that it saps all my strength and might.

Why indeed? ….well the answer is this.

 

Long-distance swimming has the ability to bring me peacefully into “the now”, a place I struggle to be when I’m out of the water. When I’m swimming, I am trained to not look back at the distance I’ve travelled, and to not search for land ahead, for I am at the mercy of Mother Nature; the tides, the wind, and the waves. All I can do is break-down the swim and focus solely on my next feed. If only life was that easy! …not dwelling on the past, nor fearing the future, but simply and humbly living in the present moment. 

 

Long-distance swimming also teaches me to confront isolation, for a channel swimmer is stripped bare of all senses;

  • Your sight limited, as the you gaze into the bottomless sea, and you are later plunged into darkness where the fear of what lurks beneath torments you. 
  • Your hearing suffocated, by the sound of sloshing water,
  • Your mouth and nose blocked and swollen by the sea-salt, making it harder and harder to breath. 
  • Your body is numb from the cold water exposure and you are left with nothing but your mind to pull you through. 

Whilst I have successfully swum 21miles across the English Channel, circumnavigated the Channel Island of Jersey, and I have completed the arduous North Channel Qualifier, I am under no illusion that success will be easy. Something British swimmer Mercedes Gleitz knew all about. In 1927 she became the first British woman to swim the English Channel, and a year later the first person to conquer The Strait of Gibraltar. But, in 1929, despite her trademark dogged determination, after eight attempts to be the first to swim The North Channel, she had to admit defeat and this unforgiving stretch of water was not conquered until 1947.

 

So with your support, as I aim to follow in the footsteps of those who have tried. Who knows, one day I might make history by being ‘the first’, and in the meantime, I hope to inspire others that life is not about the destination, it’s the journey that counts! 

 

Date of Challenge: 17th September 2022

Costs Incurred:

Pilot Boat Fees £3,300.00

Travel & Accommodation £    800.00

Medical Fees & Equipment £    400.00

TOTAL £4,500.00

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