Congratulations to the Jesus Green Lido swimmers for two successful Channel swims in July.
University of Cambridge open water swimmers raced Oxford from Dover to Calais in the biennial Varsity Channel Relay – albeit not on the same day. The Cambridge team – Evie Anema, Eleanor Mason, Jasmine Eden Gray, Thomas Woolley, Flynn Ryan and Edward Cator – set off from Dover at 3am on 7 July and reached Calais in 9 hours 47 minutes. Unable to get the required observer for their boat, the Oxford team swam on 9 July and completed their swim in 9 hours 3 minutes.
For Evie, the Cambridge team captain, the relay was a warm up for a Channel solo attempt. After several days waiting for better weather, Evie got the call to return to Dover on 20 July, setting off at 1am the following morning.
“When I set off it was dark and raining. The tide and the wind were in opposite directions and the water was really choppy. Even on the short boat ride from Dover Harbour to Samphire Hoe where Channel swims start I felt really seasick, a feeling that continued throughout the swim and the return boat journey,” Evie explains.
As well as seasickness, dealing with the dark was a major challenge. “I’ve only swum in the dark twice before, during the 2021 and 2023 relays, but only for an hour. This time I had to swim in complete darkness for three hours, which I found both terrifying and demoralising. I’ve never been more grateful for daylight than the moment I realised I could see again!” she says.
Evie touched down in France 11 hours 14 minutes later and we’re super proud of her and the other members of the Cambridge team. “There were so many times I wanted to get out but my amazing support team – and the lovely messages on Instagram and Justgiving – kept me going.”
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