On, off, now it may be on again for Harrogate's English Channel swimmers

On, off, then on again - the life of anyone aiming to swim the English Channel for charity is not an easy one,  as two Harrogate open water swimmers are currently experiencing.

Monday, 5th October 2020, 5:02 pm
Updated Monday, 5th October 2020, 5:09 pm
English Channel swim charity team members Andrea Stark, Jacqui Hargrave and Richard Powell.

A team of four, including Harrogate nurse Andrea Stark and Knaresborough blogger and book author Jacqui Hargrave, had been scheduled to attempt the crossing on September 23.

But, having travelled down to Dover and waited for the right conditions, the team were finally informed that the window of opportunity had gone as the weather failed to quieten down to make the challenge safe enough to tackle.

Having set their hearts on raising funds for The Samaritans and Saint Michael's Hospice respectively, Andrea and Jacqui were disappointed, though aware many people before them had also been hit by the phenomenon known as the "Dovercoaster."

Now, after all that, it seems their epic challenge may be back on after . Jacqui Hargrave got in touch with the Harrogate Advertiser with more positive news.

She said: "We had heard that there was no chance of our swim going ahead.

"We just haven’t had the break in the weather that we needed for a safe crossing.

"But we have another opportunity next week to do the swim; weather and tides permitting. "They don’t call it the Dovercoaster for nothing!"

The reason safety is such a key factor in the timing of any English Channel attempt is that open water swimmers don't wear wetsuits - just swimming costumes, goggles and swim hats.

The new window to take on the challenge runs October 6-13, although nothing has been confirmed yet.

The team will now consist of Richard, Andrea and Jacqui and they are in daily contact with the pilot of the boat who will inform them if a safe and suitable opening for the crossing becomes available.

Even though some of the team may have travelled back to their hometowns, they will travel to Dover as soon as instructed by the pilot of their boat.

The team are optimistic that they can get this done despite the challenging conditions ahead, if it safe enough.

Should the conditions still be deemed unsafe and the challenge is not completed, members of the public who have kindly donated via various fundraising pages will still be able to be reimbursed should they so wish.

For more information or to make a charity donation to the English Channel Swim team, visit the team members' individual fundraising pages at www.justgiving.com/fundraising or visit their Facebook pages.

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