Successful weekend for swimmers

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Denise Richards, at the age of 48, became the oldest woman ever to accomplish the feat, finishing in 11 hr 31 min.

John Farina (38), also a member of the Jersey Triathlon Club, finished in 10 hr 49 min.And Lee Sowter, of Crawley, Sussex, completed the swim in 10 hr 16 min to become the first woman to swim round the Island twice.

She last achieved the feat in 1994 when she was about an hour slower.The three set off at Elizabeth Castle breakwater at 7.30 am to face the 40-mile course in near-perfect conditions.They were escorted in three support boats by club president and vice-president Sally Minty-Gravett and Charlie Gravett as well as numerous other volunteers.’It’s not an easy swim, but not as hard as the Channel,’ said Mr Gravett.

‘The conditions yesterday were excellent, except for a bit of choppiness at La Rocque, St Catherine’s and Grosnez, which we always have.’The successful swims brings to 38 the total number which the club has organised in its 29-year history.Last week two other Jersey swimmers made it around the Island.

On Wednesday Andrew Jordi (34) swam around Jersey in 10 hr 54 min and on Thursday he was joined in his success by 18-year-old Lucy Biard, who swam the distance in 10 hr 23 min.Six Jersey swimmers set a record yesterday when they swam around Guernsey in less than nine hours.Ian Anderson, Gerry Leonard, Steve Toudic, John Searson, Alison Horsfall and Michael Lucas set off from St Martin’s Point on the 21.1-mile swim and arrived back after swimming in one-hour relays for eight hours, 56 min and 44 sec.’We were really pleased with that,’ said Mr Anderson.Mr Leonard had to bow out early as he suffered severe seasickness after completing his leg of the swim.’He felt very queasy coming out of the water and it just got worse on the boat.

Once you’ve started, there’s no way back and with such a long journey, he couldn’t swim again, so we got him back on land as quickly as we could.’The six chose Guernsey after some of them swam round their home island last year and laid down the gauntlet for Guernsey’s long-distance swimmers.’We thought we’d follow it up by going round Guernsey.

We’re setting a challenge, so hopefully someone will follow it up.’It’s up to them now.

We’re expecting Guernsey to come back to us.’ Team member Alison Horsfall previously swam the course on her own in nine hours 48 minutes.They had originally planned to go on Saturday, but rescheduled after Friday’s bad weather.’It was better but still a bit choppy on Saturday, so today was much better.It was still a bit choppy in places but we couldn’t complain too much about the conditions.

It was quite a good swim.

I think we got our timing right and we picked the best day to do it.’Mr Anderson said that taking part in the swim would have been impossible without the help of canoeist Chris Harvey and boat skipper Mark Peters to guide them around the island’s perimeter.’Chris leads the swimmers the right way.

It’s easier to follow on the side that you breathe and easier to see a canoe rather than looking where you are going.

‘And Mark has also done a really good job for us, he’s been very easy-going with regards to the swim being postponed.

We couldn’t do this without guys like Chris and Mark.’

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