Wednesday 11 July 2007

On Tuesday July 10, 2007 I swam to France...

Above: Hoffy & Support swimmer Loraine Verghese . Thanks Lorraine, you were a Godsend!

Yesterday morning at 06.50 hrs. I set off from the support Vessel Louise Jane in my attempt to swim the English Channel. I dived from the boat (see picture below), swum to shore at Samphire Hoe near Dover, raised my arm, then dived in to start on my momentus journey to France.

The experience and task was mammoth, and today I am feeling very sore. I can barely move my shoulders. I will update the blog when I return to Bury. However, suffice to say that 13 hrs. and 52 minutes after leaving Samphire Hoe, I walked ashore at Wissant in France to be greeted by about 30 cheering French men, women, and children who took photos and shook my hand. It was a very emotional experience which made me cry.

Please find below just a few of the many photos taken by BBC Radio Suffolk Reporter, Jon Wright, and my wonderful wife Beccy who fed me and watched me solidly for nearly 14 hours. From the bottom of my heart Bex, thank you.

Above: Leaving Samphire Hoe, near Dover, with about another 13 hours swimming ahead! A film crew from Dangerous Films Limited were on board and circling the boat to film for a documentary for The Discovery Channel about the Human Body. 

Above: swimming with Ferries, Super Tankers and the Dangerous Films Limited small boat with film crew on filling my lungs with Diesel fumes!

Above: Lorraine dives in to give me a helping hand whenever the support team felt I was struggling, particularly near the French coast.

Above: The very difficult job of feeding in The Channel. The longer the swim goes on, the smaller your throat appears to get making it very difficult to swallow. I swum on Maxim Original, Maxim Electrolyte, Bananas and 2 x Hot Chocolates.

Above: Bonjour Wissant, in France! A sight for sore eyes and tired arms! What Beccy didn't tell me was that as I swam towards the shore on my own, a seal was swimming along behind me. I think I would have swum much quicker had I of known!

Above: Back on board the support boat, Louise Jane after a long day in the channel. Tired, sunburnt, but very happy!

Click to download Bury Free Press Report

Please log on to (or opposite) and sponsor me and help me to raise £50,000 for CLIC Sargent and St. Nicholas' Hospice.

Thank you. Hoffy.


Anonymous said...

Hoffy, you are amazing. To think of an idea is one thing, to do it for charity, another still. But to endure the long hours of training and physical toil your challenge involved puts you in a separate league altogether. Well done!
Never will a cool beer taste so delightful.
p.s did the mini rolls help or were they to keep Becky going?! ;)

Anonymous said...

WELL DONE Hoffy!! All the best people land on the Wissant dunes ;-)

Look after yourself and rest up now - and bask in your fantastic achievement. I am so chuffed for you.


Anonymous said...

You are absolutely brilliant. Well done.

Val and Simon

Her indoors said...

Well done Hoffy. I'd never be able to do that. My only way to the French coast is by Ferry.

That's a long did it take for you to get back by boat?

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic achievement, the last couple of days have been exciting,with so many people willing you on. Congratulations. Hoping for a headline in the BFP, you deseve it!

Christina S said...

It was really exciting following you along. There was one irritating moment when the Radio Suffolk news report cut out so we had to wait a further hour for the next update!! I didn't catch them all but got as many as I could.

WELL DONE! Bury St Edmunds should be proud!

Picklesmum said...

Well done. Got tired just thinking about it. Love your swimming hat. Do you know you are a Duckling?? Pickle has same hat for swimming lessons at Stowmarket, she's a Duckling too!!

Batgirl said...

Very very excellent, well done Hoffy.

Anonymous said...

beyond words


Hoffy Swims said...

Thanks so much to everyone above for your marvellous comments and your sponsorship. It makes it all so worthwhile. Thank you again.