Ger Kennedy + Team versus Cath Pendleton + Team in a January English Channel Duel

Ger Kennedy + Team versus Cath Pendleton + Team in a January English Channel Duel

Ger Kennedy and his teammates – Colm MorrisJohn C. CurleyVincent Donegan, and John Myatt will face off against captain Cath Pendleton and her teammates – Niamh McCarthySian ClementCaroline SaxonSamantha Farrow, and reserve Nicola Such – in a 33.5 km one-way crossing of the English Channel during the last week of January 2023.

A mid-winter crossing of the English Channel?

Can it be accomplished?

The time had come for the Extreme Winter Relay challenge to answer that question: sometime between January 21st and 28th.

The men’s team or the women’s team: which gender will prove to be the most hardened, the fastest, the toughest mid-winter channel swimmers on the planet?

Kennedy explains, “Two teams of five swimmers each, a team of ladies and a team of men, will race across the English Channel. Yes, a race with a shotgun start – it will be a record attempt for both teams. Each swimmer will swim in one-hour rotations under Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation rules, with Mike Oram and Lance Oram as our pilots. The approximate water temperatures will be between 7 and 9°C, but the air temperatures will be unknown. Both teams will raise money for our chosen charity: Power of One – Animal Welfare.

Each team will have a qualified experienced cold water paramedic and one experienced crew.

Each team member has completed a very high qualification cold water swimming requirement of completing three one-hour swims in water temperatures 8°C or lower over a 7-hour period. Some swam in water between 6°C to 7.5°C which is a massive achievement in itself, but it was only a qualifier to get to the cold water endurance required to participate in this extreme winter relay.”

To put a January crossing of the English Channel in perspective, Howard James set the latest Channel crossing on record with his November 3rd 2016 swim in 11 hours 38 minutes when the water temperature was 14ºC (57.2ºF). He broke the old record by 6 days, previously held by Michael Read who swam on October 28th 1979.

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Steven Munatones